“I keep thinking, this year, it will be easier”

My Mother’s Day gift for the last eight years has been a picture of Katie, taken by Skip, and placed in a beautiful silver frame that gets polished up and presented with the current year’s photo proudly displayed.  Skip even went so far as to buy a small album to hold prior years’ pictures.  It’s a very cool tradition Skip started; I love each of my eight pictures.

The other annual Mother’s Day tradition in the Harris Household is Skip uttering the words, “I keep thinking, this year it will be easier.”

Outtakes for this year include pictures of Katie with a big stick, pretending to be a Jedi (in fairness, if Darth Maul ever attacks our home, my money is on Katie) as well as several pictures of her doing armpit farts (to every parent whose child learned this lovely little “trick” from Katie:  I am sorry.  So, so, so, so, SO very sorry.  Very sorry.)

Katie, Jedi Master
Katie, Jedi Master
Katie's fine armpit fart form
Katie’s fine armpit fart form

Skip keeps thinking that each year, the pictures will be easier – that she’ll be more cooperative, better able to listen, more into the whole process than she’s been in previous years.  And every year, Katie manages to prove him wrong.

The first year, he fully anticipated being challenged – Katie wasn’t even two weeks old, so trying to get a good picture is definitely tough; I have a real appreciation for anyone who can get a good newborn picture (although I do notice that in a lot of those newborn pictures, the babies are all snoozing.  Is that cheating?)

I like this one (it looks like he caught her mid-sneeze):

First Mother's Day
First Mother’s Day

The following year, at just over one year old, got us a meltdown and a total lack of cooperation …

Katie Meltdown
Katie Meltdown
Katie's cute backside, but not quite what we were after
Katie’s cute backside, but not quite what we were after









There are dozens, if not hundreds, of “botched” pictures, all taken in the often fading hopes that one, just ONE dang it, will be a keeper.   And I got to thinking – this is a lot like parenting itself.  You keep thinking it’ll get easier when she’s sleeping through the night.  When she’s walking.  When she’s able to dress herself … feed herself … and on and on it goes.  But every “easier” comes with a trade off.   Being able to dress herself means picking out shorts, ski socks, tennis shoes and a sweatshirt.  All in clashing colors and in all likelihood, the shirt has some horrific stain.  Being able to walk means she runs and holy buckets kids can run fast (this momma runs WAAAAY slow), and kids always run straight to the things that induce immediate cardiac arrest (streets, swimming pools, large ugly dogs, etc. etc.)

But for every hard moment there are the good ones – the hugs, the sticky kisses, the “I love yous”.  The moment when your kid does the right thing – unprompted – and your heart swells so much it might just come out of your ears.  And the few good moments far outweigh the bad ones; I just hope that in most of your bad ones, you can also look back and laugh.

I’m just hopeful that Mother’s Day 2019 doesn’t make me long for the days of armpit farts.

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