Riley and I aren't great parents. The evidence of this is abundant. Margaret's hair is rarely (read never) brushed. She has also started watching the music video for Grace Potter's, Paris (Oh la la) song obsessively. (Hello two year old. Want to shake it to some rock music along with girls in fishnets? Be.My.Guest.) Sometimes we take Viola outside without socks on. Ice cream for breakfast is a regular occurrence. The worst offense by far, however, the one that will land all of our kids in therapy, is that we never, ever, EVER take pictures. Our lives are lovely. There are smiles and tears and dancing in the kitchen. And absolutely no physical evidence that any of it ever happens.
Enter Justin Hackworth. A photographer that wields his lens the way Monet rocked a paintbrush. High praise. Yeah. Deserved? Hell Heck, yeah.
Justin came to our house. Made Margaret fall in love with him. (I LOVE JUSTIN! CAN I HUG HIM??) Took our pictures. And left Riley and I feeling like the best parents in the world. Did you see all those photograph's we just had taken of our family? We are parents. Hear us roar.
Yesterday we met with Mr. Hackworth to go over the moments he had captured in our purple walled home. It was all just perfect. I bawled like a big, snotty baby. After the presentation, we sat down to look over prices. (Side note: All of Justin's prices are beyond reasonable. It just so happens that Riley and I are in a point of our life where a visit to the dollar menu can wipe out our bank account. Oh, McNuggets, how I miss thee.) I sat there, looking at the numbers, trying to figure out how we could afford two 8 x 10's. (You know how it goes...Maybe if we eat only eggs for the next three weeks. And I only eat two meals a day. And I sell my hair.) When Riley looks at me, looks at Justin and says, We'll take that one. That one. The package I didn't even look at because it was several, several, SEVERAL weeks worth of dollar menu purchases. The one that allowed us to have every precious instant that Justin captured. The one that we would get someday, when we were richer, skinnier, healthier, and reading only Russian literature.
I started crying again.
As we walked to our car, Riley held my hand.
Are you sure?
Yeah, Meggi. I am sure. Those are the kinds of things we should spend money on.
I married a smart guy.
( I will skip the part of the story where we canceled, reconsidered, canceled, and finally decided to still do it. It was like the worst game of telephone, ever. Justin was very patient.)