As promised, here is a post about our time in Colorado.
After cleaning up dinner one night at the ranch, I walked out onto the covered porch and saw my four boys on canoes, paddling across the small lake in front of our cabin. I grabbed my camera and followed them along the edge of the lake. The moment seemed so precious to me, probably because my oldest starts tenth grade this fall while my youngest starts fourth grade, and there are fewer activities in which they all enjoy and participate together.
I savored the image of them peacefully canoeing and I continued to shoot pictures. It was a moment I wanted to freeze. My four boys working and playing together. How sweet, I thought.
Until I got close enough to hear them.
“You suck,” one brother said about another’s paddling skills. The other replied with a “you suck,” as they continued their journey toward a low, wooden bridge they cross under by lying down in the canoe and pulling themselves through to the other side.
I would not be deterred from taking photos, however. In fact, I would not be deterred by reality. They would not ruin my delusion of them getting along – beautifully gliding across the water in syncopation. My ignorance of reality worked for a while. Until they came closer and I could hear them talking about who was stronger.
“You are NOT stronger than I am,” one of them said. “You don’t even work out.”
“Obviously I’m stronger because I barely hit you and you cry,” responded the other.
La-la-la-la-la. I plugged my ears. I would hear nothing of it. In fact, in my escape from reality, I heard the conversation completely different. I’m pretty sure I heard one say: “You are right. You are the stronger one.”
To which the other responded, “Oh no, dear brother, you are stronger. Look at your muscles as we row this boat.”
Another piped in, “Brothers! Do not argue. We are all strong, capable young men.”
Oh, who am I kidding? They are boys. And they are brothers. Which means there will always be competition and some trash talk. Regardless of their attitudes toward each other at the time, the fact remains, they were working and playing together. And just because my vision – of how I thought the scene should play out – was different than reality doesn’t matter. I still walked away with some beautiful pictures of my four crazy, competitve kids.