Yesterday morning, we had a family picture taken of us. We do this every fall, as part of a fundraiser for a local children’s charity. A very talented and generous photographer lends her time to the cause, and we usually use the resulting pictures as part of our family’s Christmas presents, because we’re raving ego maniacs. So instead of our usual lazy Saturday morning, yesterday we got all polished up, put on nice clothes, and headed out to a very pretty spot to meet the photographer. We’d told the boys that if they were patient and cooperative, they’d receive a treat, and they seemed excited about being bribed.

Once we arrived, the whining began in earnest – why can’t I roll in the grass? why can’t I kick the dirt? why can’t I splash the puddles? why does it stink here? (we were downwind of a boutique brewery that did not, in all fairness, smell so good). When will we be done? Why can’t I climb in the tree house? Etc, etc. Ad nauseum.

Once we were done with the quick and painless sitting, the photographer offered the kids a small treat for their cooperation, and all three of them cheerfully rummaged in the proffered bag for a rubbery bracelet (like the Livestrong ones).

As we drove home, the kids relayed from the back seat what their bracelets said. Rand reported that Kate had chosen a pink one,  which said “Faith.” Henry had wound up with a blue one that said ‘Dream.” After a pause, Rand piped up in his whiniest, put upon, the world-owes-me-more-fun voice:

“Mine says ‘Toxic’.”



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