Lately, I have been working a bit more, and I don't always make it home for bedtime, which means I sometimes miss out on our family picture.
At the beginning of the year, we tried to find interesting locations to snap our daily family shot, and I was really good about getting everyone together before Ben went to work. Then we hit a period in the middle when we forgot to take pictures, and I stopped posting them everyday, preferring instead to save up 3 or 4 and post them all at once and fudge the post dates to make it look like I have been posting faithfully all along. The last couple of months, we have been pretty lazy about the whole process, jumping on our bed nearly every night when the kids are fresh from the tub. Even though our pictures aren't as interesting as they were at the beginning of the year, they have finally become part of our routine.
If Ben or I forgets, Harry or Jack will remind us. Harry likes to pretend to pout or cry in the pictures for some reason (and Ben always tells him that when he's older, he'll look back and think he had a very sad childhood which usually makes me laugh), and Jack has been screaming "Happy Halloween" in the camera's flash for month. The picture has become a part of our night time ritual, like pre-bath playtime and laundry folding/putting away, like splashing in the bath with whatever odd assortment of action figures they choose to bring in, like snuggling with a towel-wrapped Jack while Harry slithers through the suds until every drop of bubbly water is sucked down the drain, like feeding the guppies who live on Ben's dresser, like brushing teeth and listening, drowsy, to library book after library book.
10 seconds together while the camera beeps and flashes its red light. Then a click and pop of light and we spring off the bed, scattering as one to look at our picture, see if anyone's face is obscured or if anyone looks to terrible for posterity. Then a chorus of goodnights and I love yous and two little boys who go to sleep two different ways.
When I come home long after the boys are in bed, I know Ben will have a picture waiting for me to post. The other night, he also had this: