And, how did I get them to agree to wear matching shirts? As they are settling into their roles as creatures destined to one day be independent of their parents, their wardrobe choices have certainly become an expression of their individuality. If left to her own devices, Princess Commando would parade through life in Pokemon t-shirts or anything that resembled pajamas (not a matching set, mind you). Henry wants to be plain, unassuming- and would have embraced the Catholic school uniform many of our neighbor's children wear if we offered it to him. First Born Son is finally buying pants which allow the prospect of providing us with grandchildren one day (16+ years from now). I believe his skinny jeans (a trend that lasted way too long) were finally getting to him. It cannot be comfortable to have the family jewels constricted in that manner.
And look, they were trying back then to get Princess Commando to cooperate for the camera.
"Smile or I am going to kiss you with my Kool Aid and Cheese Doodle stained lips."
"Smile or I will claw you to pieces!"
As determined as Princess Commando was to hold onto that pout, Henry also tried to maintain the same pose through out the ordeal- ready to flash his beam of cooperation when we said, "Say cheese!".
But, everyone has a breaking point. And, Henry's came when he heard that dinner was served and he was still sitting there waiting for his sister to amiably participate for one stinking picture. "Turn your damn head around and smile so that I can eat some sausage!"
Princess Commando was more than willing to oblige us when we relented and told her to "Just do whatever you want."
Who is that little girl in the picture below holding on to her Daddy's hand? Who are these little people tiptoeing into the water? I hardly recognize them. It takes my breath away to imagine that five years from now I may be looking at pictures from this year's 4th of July celebration at Hanford Bay- wondering how it got to be that The Baby is already in kindergarten.
You blink and one of those little boys with sandy feet and garish swim trunks is all of a sudden sitting far away from you on the beach admiring the tanned skin and barely there bikinis of teenage girls. When you are holding your newborn in your arms and you have that look of the walking dead in your face, those who have traveled the same path before you advise "Enjoy this time. It goes by so quickly." In that moment, you think they are insane. Having had 14+ years to let it sink in, I know that they spoke the truth. And with all of the challenges that we've had becoming a family of 6, I try to remind myself to stop my lamenting about how difficult it all can be and just enjoy the time I have with The Baby. Soon enough she will be one of the teenage girls on the beach with her bare skin defended by SPF 1000; wearing an adorably modest, long sleeved bathing suit (because my wishful thinking tells me that she will be the only one of my children who will truly want to please my tastes); and the widest brimmed hat you have ever seen in your life (because she will truly care about the longevity of her life and will do anything to prevent getting skin cancer because she knows that she will be the one out of the four kids saddled with the responsibility of taking care of us in our old age). And through all of the layers of sun protection, she will catch the eye of a boy her age and oh, those suh- uh-mer ni- ights. See, how it does go by so fast?
Have a wonderful weekend everyone! May it drag on and on in the most delicious manner.
P.S. To Melanie @ Be Wild (a fabulous blog filled with gorgeous photography and even more gorgeous insights), this last image is for you. These are the kinds of images I get commissioned to create. Happy Canada Day!