Monday, April 25, 2011

Brothers and Sisters at Easter

"In thee my soul shall own combined the sister and the friend." -- Catherine Killigrew

"I, who have no sisters or brothers, look with some degree of innocent envy on those who may be said to be born to friends." -- James Boswell

"A brother shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams." -- Author Unknown

"Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply." -- Jane Austen, Mansfield Park

"Brothers and sisters are as close as hands and feet." -- Vietnamese Proverb

"To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time." -- Clara Ortega

"A sibling may be the keeper of one's identity, the only person with the keys to one's unfettered, more fundamental self." -- Marian Sandmaier

One of my holiday delights is capturing special moments between the children. I want them to look back at photos of their growing up and remember how much joy they shared. The photos above represent some of my favorite images from Easter this year -- so full of love and sweetness.

But I just had to share one more. As a mother I am always striving for that elusive perfect family photo -- one that beautifully captures and forever preserves an idyllic slice of our life together. Of course, I had this goal in mind when we arrived at Joe's parents' home for the afternoon yesterday. I reveled in the possibility when we piled out of the mini-van and Joe announced, "OK, children, you are at your mother's command for pictures before you can do the Easter egg hunt."
The children dutifully indulged me in group and individual photos, but quickly tired of taking pictures. They were eager to move on to other activities, so I ushered everyone to the final spot I had scouted for pictures.
"OK, just one more," I promised, "and you can have the Easter egg hunt."
I nestled the children between my mother-in-law's lush pink azaleas for our final shot, repositioning them a couple of times to assure the perfect frame. When I stepped back to take the photo, all four looked back at me with lackluster, clenched-teeth smiles. So, hoping to excite them about the fun to come, I encouraged, "Say 'Happy Easter!' " as I lifted my camera to take the picture.
"Happy Easter!" the chorus of four voices rang out. As they yelled, Carson lunged forward, causing a domino reaction, and this was the real-life moment I caught:

This is the moment just before the children tumbled into the azaleas, Mary Ashley and Emma crying when their brothers landed on top of them. But doesn't Emma -- unaware that she is about to be tackled to the ground -- look adorable?


Who's ready to hunt Easter eggs?

"Sibling relationships - and 80 percent of Americans have at least one - outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship.  They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust."  -- Erica E. Goode

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