The first Family Portrait. And the Last.

Our church is taking photos of our congregation for the member directory.  I signed up the Zohrfamily for our photo shoot about 3 weeks ago for an appointment this past Saturday at 3:35 p.m.  I picked that time because I thought that it would give me plenty of time to pick out clothes, wash, dry and iron them, and then personally assemble each family member in their outfits, fix their hair, spit shine their faces, and get to the church on time.   You would think this would be a fairly logical and easy goal to achieve.  I give myself entirely too much credit, it seems. 

This was the first family photo we’ve had taken since…well…uh…lemme think…ever.  I was going to say since Little B and Little A graced our family, but it’s actually never been attempted before this.  There was apparently a reason for this.  What. a. nightmare.  While I was attempting to iron, bathe and assemble children, Zohrhubby disappeared for his conveniently scheduled appointment for a haircut at 1:30, followed by a shopping trip for new pants, which put him MIA for all of the pre-event festivities.   When he got home, I was just barely finished with the kids, and with less than forty minutes to spare before we had to leave, I jumped in the shower to get myself ready.  It wasn’t until I was out of the shower and began getting ready that ZH announced that he had to take ANOTHER shower (even though he’d aged less than 3 hours since his last) because apparently haircuts are gnarly procedures and he was thusly soiled.  When he got out of the shower (now only 15 minutes on the clock) he arbitrarily began critiquing my clothing choices for the kids.  This resulted in a tiny, barely noticeable SHOUTING MATCH (by which I am referring that MY SHOUTING had no match) whereby he was informed that my choices would stand and we had to leave.   Now. 

He began RE-FIXING Little A’s hair (UGH!) and asking me again why I’d chosen her clothes, instead of one of her pretty dresses.  What she had on was fine, okay?  Seriously.  And while I would have preferred a dress, all of her dresses are sleeveless summer dresses, and the rest of us were all dressed in darker, fall type of things. 

Now, I don’t generally pay such attention to details, but I’ve seen family photographs before, and the families all seem so happy and match-y and as a result, seem to be a cohesive unit, and I always imagined that I’d one day have a family that looked like that, and so I thought we might be able to pull it off.  You know, the “Normal Family” thing. 

I didn’t explain the normal family fantasy to ZH, there simply was no time.  I rattled off something about summer dresses and left ZH to fret over Little A’s hair, whilst I got everyone else in the car.  We got in, I started her up, and we waited.  We were just barely running on time.  If we left right then.  But, of course, we did not leave right then, because we were still waiting on ZH and Little A.  And waiting.  And waiting.  Nearly 4 minutes went by.  Converted into “Zohrbak is Sitting in a Running Vehicle with 3 out of 4 Children and Sans ZH Daylight Savings Time” (ZSRVCSZHDST), that equals 4 days.  The realization that ZH was inside ironing a summer dress for Little A to change into dawned on me about 2 minutes in.  Since my makeup and hair were fresh, I was trying very hard to keep the fault line from forming between my eyes and the veins from popping out of my neck as this would surely ruin the family portrait.  Sure enough, 2 minutes later, Little A comes bounding around the gate in her pretty, sleeveless, pink summer dress.  I tried to control myself, not for the purpose of “being the bigger person” or giving ZH the “benefit of the doubt”, but simply because we had no time for an argument and my face would have turned to crap.  I drove to the church like a mad woman (and I was.  A mad.  Woman.) but trying to keep my bad attitude from ruining my face.  We got there with less than a minute to spare, and got the pictures taken. 

I was so stressed out that the normal effort required for my face to contort into a smile was increased tenfold.  We got to review our digital pictures immediately, so I am able to report that everyone in our family portrait looked normal and  happy and cohesive.  Except ME!


About zohrbak

Zohrbak is an old email username I had a while's a made-up twist on two characters from Spaceghost. Zorak and Brak. I'm a geek. I am a married, working mother of 4 children, ages 4-15. I also have interests outside of my children, but I can never remember what they are.
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7 Responses to The first Family Portrait. And the Last.

  1. Zohrmom says:

    Print this post and frame it next to the picture as you hang it on the wall. For posterity.Or perhaps a reminder for the next photo shoot. This is a hoot. You did recover nicely for church yesterday.
    Too funny

  2. YaYa says:

    ROFLMA (I may have pee’d myself). Even though, I heard this story verbaly from you yesterday, reading this is sooo funny!! & I can attest to the annual Church photo our family had to take every year what an utter disaster it was. Maybe this why I hate taking pictures, (this is also why I have not joined the church) it was always a fight between the rents and the oldest sibling and we would get there late, mom would repeat the same effort you had to make to avoid creasing her make up with frown lines and we would all smile a look normal and happy. The last family photo we took we were all in high school, Mom’s hair was black (she picked out the wrong hair color & didn’t have time to redo it) & oldest brother was standing 2 feet away from everyone else in the picture with was published in the church bulletin. My parents finaly gave up!!

  3. Carmen says:

    This reminds of of the episode of Modern Family entitled “Family Portrait”. If you don’t watch it, you should. It is hilarious. It might make you feel better to know that you are not the only one. We too attempted the family portrait, with matching clothes and such. It was a frenzy for just the 3 of us, but I will admit they turned out beautifully. I’m sure yours will too.

  4. Aimee Earl says:

    For someone who is a photographer…a real one with a cerificate to hang on the wall and everything…I HATE pictures. I hate taking them now,and I hate being in them. I hate watching others take them, And I MOST hate the thought of taking them of more than one child. LOL.

    I am good at photography…making them look really artistic and nice, but now my pics are usually snaps, literally like, Hey (the child in view briefly flips his head toward me) and I snap. Whether they smile or not is irrelevant. I did my job as a mother and preserved his face in a photo for posterity. Both my mother and mother in law are constantly after me to take pics of my kids.

    Not long ago I decided I would. I thought it would be nice to take a few shots of all 4 of them together, dressed similarly outside with the fall foliage in full color. I never made it past picking out a new shirt to wear and haircuts. I got mad at the teenagers bc they couldn’t chose a shirt that was “fall” colors that looked remotely nice. And Jacob refused to take the picture if I didn’t let him do his new haircut in a faux-hawk like Cody did. It only made it worse that I had already told Cody he could wear his hair like that since everyone expects teenagers to try to be cool. Not 7 year-olds. I want him to remain sweet until he is 13. So, I scrapped the whole idea and stuck the “big camera” back in the case in the top of my closet.

    So, when you see that I now only use my CELL PHONE to take photos, and the kids always have strange looks on their faces you know why. Besides, the strange looks are more realistic anyway .When their future wives see them, they will know what they are getting into if they choose to breed with them. LOL

  5. zohrsis says:

    can’t wait to see the picture lol

  6. Jodi Edwards Wright for Mother Hen

    My ex did EXACTLY the same thing when we went for a church family picture one year!
    All the clothes were laid out to match, and then he gave our daughter permission to change her dress, meaning that I had to go and at the last minute choose all different clothes for the rest of us so that we would again match.
    When you look at the photo my daughter has this triumphant little grin on her face. I look a little wide-eyed and crazed. Our son looks resigned. My ex looks like he just got a severe tongue-lashing, which he did — in other words, he looks sulky.
    The only thing that I can say for it is that it is an accurate depiction of what our family life was like at that moment in time.

    • zohrbak says:

      “The only thing that I can say for it is that it is an accurate depiction of what our family life was like at that moment in time.” ——- Hmmmmmmmmm. Good point.

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