Friday, October 30, 2015

Art, Parenting, and Donkeys

I was given the task of trying to find a picture that would serve as an author's photo a few weeks back.  I dug through our photo archives and could not find one picture of just me where I did not look like a hot mess.  Tons of pictures where I was breastfeeding, carrying a child, or taking silly selfies with a child appeared.  However, none that fit what I needed was available, so D and I started on the journey of trying to take a picture of me that would work.

The task of trying to get an author’s pic was harder than anything I’ve maybe ever done as an adult. That's only a slight exaggeration.

My dear husband tried to help, but he seems to believe that all pictures should be taken in abundantly bright light two inches from a person’s face.  God love him, but he just does not understand that not all of us still look like we’re 18, our face as smooth as a baby’s butt on the day it was born.  He tried for a couple of days to be my photographer, but all we ended up with were pictures where my wrinkles looked like they had multiplied, my teeth looked larger than normal, and my body was contorted into unnatural poses while I tried to look natural.

So my author pic ended up being a selfie taken at the Heritage Farmstead Museum the day before I needed to submit an article.  In the picture I’m trying to come off easy breezy.  I was also trying to come off less toothy, but I don’t think that’s possible.  I just smile with my whole mouth; it’s the only way I know how. 

The sun was low in the east so I shot towards the west hiding from the sun but using just enough of its rays to make sure the picture wasn’t just a picture of dark.  That’s the kind of lighting a woman of a certain age who spent her youth in the sun needs. 

The picture turned out okay.  I almost dislocated my shoulder trying to make it not look like a selfie because the other option was asking D to take it which I knew would end with, “let’s face you more in the sun”, “pull your hair out of your face so I can see all of you”, “I need to be a foot closer so this picture can be used to examine your pores.”  No.

I got this:

It’s been said that a picture’s worth a thousand words. It’s also been said we put all our good stuff out there in pictures all across the internet and leave the real junk hidden.  Here’s the real junk behind this picture:

To my left, Wren was trying to walk on old time stilts that were too big for her tiny body.  The picture was taken right about the time she bit it in the dirt.  Through the side of my mouth I said, “You’re tough.  Way to shake it off,” as she was still attempting to make it back on her feet.  

Past Wren, Asher was conducting a one person potato sack race and was devastated to find out the bottom had blown out of the sack, so when she jumped, it was just jumping up and down like normal, no potato sack goodness.  She was beyond pissed and tangled up in a potato sack, adding insult to injury.

D was chasing Eowyn who decided it would be a good idea to run back over to the huge hogs and taunt them from outside their fence squeaking, “oink, oink” while blowing bacon breath all over them.  She’s honestly just lucky to be alive.  The girl has guts and not a lot of fear of anything she should actually be scared of, which is not the most awesome combination at the age of two. 

Sammy was screaming for D to come back and help him walk on the stilts so he could tell Wren, “look, I walked” rubbing it in that she ate dirt.  Wren tends to make everything a competition, so any chance Sammy gets to one up, he totally takes.  Can’t honestly say I blame him.

And directly to my front, Remus and Romulus, the supposed country’s largest donkeys (read: well hung) were gearing up for what I can only assume was going to be really aggressive donkey sex.  The foreplay stage we were seeing and hearing at the moment the picture was taken was horrifying.  I’m smiling through it, easy breezy.  No donkey sex here!

This is the intersection of art and life if taking a selfie for a writing project is art and trying to usher your children away from viewing donkey porn is life. 

Check out the essay that inspired this picture in the first place on Mommikin here.  

P.S.  Dear my photographer sister Amy, 

Please come see me.  Bring your camera.  It is obvious I need help.

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