Now, about that photo … three generations of estrogen bubbles afloat in a Victorian tub. Dare you ask, "Who took the picture?" Dare I tell you? Oh Canada. My beloved son-in-law, David, was quite discreet and kept his distance from the rim of the tub.
"This is the mater speaking, ‘step back from the tub, step away from the tub’!"
It was New Year’s eve and seemed like a good idea at the time. Well, almost New Year’s eve, Christmas week and I had settled myself into a rather posh inn near Jenn’s house for two nights of blissful decadence sans kiddies. There was a king-sized bed (unfortunately I had no king in tow) decked out with way too many pillows and a sinfully rich down comforter which was so plush that we nearly lost Sophie when she came to visit. Yes, my personal space, my pleasure palace was invaded by the clan!
Jenn got an idea. When Jenn gets an idea, it’s usually far from mainstream and involves some type of "mother, stretch yourself, try a new experience". Dragging hubby, Sophie, and newborn Hannah, Jenn showed up and promptly announced that there would be a photoshoot in my rather large, elegant bathroom. She knew of the Victorian tub and she had dibs on it. Why not make it a family event? I, safely wrapped in my rather dowdy chenille bathrobe and sporting my flannel pj’s, tentatively gave it my okay. What the heck? Holiday spirit and all that. I didn’t want to be the Grinch that destroyed Christmas in a Victorian Bath. It seemed so Norman Rockwell.
David had brought all his photo equipment, and I would take some pictures of their little family unit in the tub. Canadian men are quite laissez-faire about things like that. Stripping in front of your momma-in-law down to your colorful tartan-plaid boxers was no big deal. Jenn adjusted herself likewise and into the tub they went, bare from the waist up and holding their progeny. The effect of course was delightful. Splish, splash, the element of illusion – no one would know that there was no water in the tub and modesty prevailed. Yes, I soon found myself enjoying every moment of my new role as official photographer. See Jenn?! Mom is stretching herself and learning a new hobby at the same time. I shot one angle and then another, running around the tub like the paparazzi on speed. My son-in-law’s SLR and he trusted me to get some really good shots. Needless to say, I rose to the challenge! Can’t say the mater was not spontaneous. End of deal. Until, Jenn got another idea.
“Mom, why don’t you hop in here and let David take your picture with me and the girls?”
You grow up; you grow older. You think that life will settle down and your adult kids will no longer be creating pressure on you, challenging you to step out of your nice warm bathrobe and get your feet wet. So here I am, coaching them to paint in broad strokes and suddenly I’m a part of the canvas! (You’ve already been warned about the metaphors.)
Sometimes, if you talk the talk, you just gotta walk the walk.
David, indeed, did keep his distance and we laughed and held the girls tightly and I’m so glad I did it!
A couple months later, one of these memorable photos showed up on the cover of my surprise-birthday invitation card to family, friends and co-workers.
Moral of the story: no matter what the age, your children will continue to find clever ways to surprise and embarrass you.