I’d like some pictures of the boys and me, I say. Because I think it might be nice for there to be a few pictures that actually have the mother in them rather than shooting them.

Mostly, I have pictures of the boys, or the boys and their friends, or the boys and their dad. Or the goats. This is the extent of our family album. Or it would be, if I actually made a family album.

How about, this is the extent of the muddle of photos on my computer?

Anyway, it’s Sunday morning (Mother’s Day) and the sun is shining and the potluck lunch is ready and the kids are ready and no one has a black eye and we have some time before church so I make my suggestion, and I herd them outside and over to the fence.

Make that, I wait at the fence while one boy wanders out in sock feet, another in bare feet, and another spies a chicken on the loose and races off to snag and bag it.


Meanwhile, the dad decides he has time to do major repair work to his truck (or maybe he was checking the oil?) while the rest of us cheer on the boy who is madly chasing the chicken all over the yard.


Successful in his capture, we wait for him to return the chicken to the pen while Dad finishes overhauling the engine (or maybe he was adding window wash fluid?) and I decide the old shop might be a nicer background for our photo shoot.

I hand my husband my “camera” and the boys and I line up. Carter is grumbling because the sun is bright and he’s the only one without sunglasses and who cares about taking stupid pictures and we’re ruining his life.


We jostle and shuffle and finally Tyson leans over and kisses my cheek and miraculously, my husband catches it.


And then I get a kiss from him.


And then I get a kiss from him.


And then the whole thing goes to pot…


… but I manage to snag my husband and he grabs his gun (?) and my oldest son says smile and I get a kiss from him, too. That’s a lot of kissing for this family.


So I only raised my voice a couple of times, and I might have said something in the middle of it all like all I want are some nice freaking pictures of us that show how much we love each other!! … and wouldn’t you know it, I got some.

My men and me.