Picture this: a modern family portrait

Family Eating Picnic by Lake
Not long ago, my stepson brought a flyer home from school. It informed parents that on the evening of Picture Day, the photographers would be back at the school to take family portraits for those who were interested. Of course, the flyer came home the night before this was supposed to happen, so there wasn’t much time to plan. Besides, he and his sister would be at their mom’s house the night of the photo event, but the notice came to his dad and me, since it was sent home on one of his days with us.
Families like ours aren’t unusual anymore, but they can – literally – be a bit tough to picture.

We have snapshots of the four of us, but formal portraits have a certain significance. When my husband and I got married, we did get a few photos done of the two of us together with all three of our respective children – his two, and my one. In my thinking, that’s our little family portrait: his and mine, all evened out.

Picture this: you can read the rest of this post at the Los Angeles Moms Blog. Since it was selected for national syndication last week, you were also able to read it in the newspapers – in print and online – in such far-flung locations as Medina, Ohio; State College, Pennsylvania; Boise, Idaho; Charlotte, North Carolina; Rock Hill, South Carolina; and Sacramento, California. If the links are still working, you may still be able to read it on the news sites, but you can only comment on it at the LA Moms Blog – and here, of course!

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  1. We're having a problem with family portraits this year too, because my sister is engaged and she and her fiancee have a daughter, but I want a FAMILY portrait, which in my mind doesn't include the fiancee. (Yes, I realise this probably makes me bratty, lol.) But how to do that w/o hurting his feelings? *sigh* I can imagine it'd be more complicated for a blended family like yours. 🙂

  2. Congrats on the syndication–how cool! Every summer when we get together with my husband's family, we take an insane family portrait that gets bigger every year. Not a lot of emotional baggage with the actual picture-taking, but certainly complicated relationships to explain when showing the picture to anyone 🙂

  3. Congrats on the syndication. If you keep this up you're going to be too big for this blog stuff. 🙂

    my family was like that as a kid, too. We have very few pictures of all of us from that time. Probably none. 🙂

  4. Eva – Well, OK, technically he's not an in-law yet, so I think you can make a case…for now. But spouses and kids are just where it starts to get complicated :-).

    April – Thanks – and thanks for being the only one who commented on it at LA Moms (until today, when my mother-in-law stopped by)!

    Tracy (Gentle Reader) – Are you folks using a wide-angle lens to get everyone in to the picture :-)? Extended family can be confusing to explain anyway – blending just adds another level.

    Mike – It's only my second time getting picked up for syndication in over a year of posting at LA Moms Blog; I don't think it'll go to my head. (April's had more posts picked up than I have :-).)

    We never get pictures of everyone together at the kids' parties. It may be just as well.

  5. I think the last formal picture of my family was when I was a wee child. Most of the photos since then are amateur shots.

    Families are quite diverse and it is good that that is being more recognized now–I imagine there's still a ways to go yet.

    I admit I struggle over what to call my brother's ex-wife's son. Is he still my nephew? I never really knew him and so don't feel that family connection, and yet I don't want to dismiss him outright since he was a part of my brother's life for several years (the nephew is an adult now). Which reminds me, I need to take their family photo down before my brother and his new girlfriend visit . . . I'm not sure why I'm rambling about this. Weren't we talking about photos? LOL

    Congratulations on being syndicated! How cool is that?!

  6. Vanessa (ChefDruck) – You never know what's going to get their attention for syndication, so I'm pleasantly surprised that this post did :-).

    Wendy (Literary Feline) – You're posing some really good questions. I think it probably varies depending on how close the people in question were during the marriage. I'm friends with my ex-husband's sister and sometimes still refer to her as my sister-in-law, even though she hasn't been that for over seven years. To some extent, I really believe that we can choose some of the people we consider "family." But having said that…depending on how they get along now, taking down that picture of your brother and his ex before he visits with his new girlfriend is probably not a bad idea :-).