Family Photo

By , newmarket, Canada
It seems to me that every family has to experience the horror of the family photo. There’s my mom, always trying to make it perfect, ignoring what the professional photographer is saying while uttering, “You don’t know squat!” Then there’s my dad, watching it all happen and taking it in stride while laughing at his own wise cracks. He just got TV on his phone so he would occasionally try to sneak a peek at the hockey game before Mom saw. Then there are the kids, who are forced to look clean “for once in their bloody lives”, in the words of my Mom anyway. What do we get from these photos? I always wondered why we have to sit here and look our bests for 2 hours of sheer boredom. This isn’t our family, and frankly, I don’t know whose family this is? No one’s family is this perfect, so why should we, the least perfect family known to man, have to endure this kind of pain? One would think, "Memories of course, without memories, there are no experiences!" Yet without the experience, there are no memories in return. Another person would also say, "Awwwh! How precious is that?!." These words typically come from my mom’s friends. My mom always seemed to compete with them over who had the perfect family. If this photo happened to make its way into the living room we would surely win. The problem is, this is not our family!

Don't get me wrong, my family is great, but these people are the ones that gave birth to me. They are roots of my family tree, they are the only people in the world you can get mad at and eventually all will be forgiven. In most situations you can't really replace family. They are here with you for life. Through thick and thin they will always be there, helping you along this journey we call life. When you have problems, they find a way to solve it. When you do something wrong, they will always find a way to comfort you. When you say you want to do something, they will always give you the encouragement you need to achieve your goal.

Now this was one of the defining moments of my life. This was a time when I was becoming who I am today. I realized that although I was still a child, this was the moment where expectations began to grow. Some of the older relatives were starting to put the pressure on me to succeed. They wanted me to a good university, become a success, and have the perfect family. All these things began to pile up on my plate and some people would either become too full, or finish the whole thing and still want more. Now you may love them for it, and you may hate them for it, but this family, is who you are and will always be. The expectations are only a form of love; your family cares for you, and your best intentions.

So when you look back at all the old family photos, remember the memories, the experiences. Remember what happened that day, and for the rest of that year and the years to come. The small faces and smiles, and the bigger ones or the frowns, although they may seem perfect to the blind eye, under the cloud of faces are people that may not stand each other but have to for the sake of that photo.





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