Letting go seems to be my theme this week. Actually, maybe it’s a recurring theme it’s just that now I”m paying more attention to it. And funny enough, paying attention was the theme for the past several months. Which I guess means I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. In that big giant universal sense that is.

Every year for Halloween we take a family photo on the bench in the yard. Every year. Since we’ve been in this house. Since all the kids were little. Before some of the kids even existed. We would all get our random costumes on and take 10 minutes for a photo shoot. I love those photos. The sessions and the photos too.

This year we were kind of in a hurry because of new schedules where big kids get home later than usual. And costumes were chosen last minute which took a little bit of time. And we were ┬ájust a little bit more scattered. So the photo shoot was rushed. And one child didn’t want to participate. At all. At first I insisted. But only for about a minute. And then, like a wave, I felt myself let go of the expectation.

In the big picture, who cares about the picture? Yes, I like it but taking a photo with 5 of us instead of 6 will serve as much as a reminder of where we all were at that current moment in time just as much as a photo would. I’ll remember that moods were off and we were feeling a little frantic and so the photo was different.

And I’ll use that photo of 5 as a metaphor for so much more. I’ll remember to let go of expectations. I’ll remember to let everyone feel the feelings. I’ll remember that we all need/like/want different things. I’ll remember that where we are in one moment of time does not define us for all time. I’ll remember, hopefully, to try to meet everyone where they are at any given moment of time. And hopefully I’ll remember that it’s crucial in this family life of ours to choose my battles. Which ones matter? Which ones can I just let go?

I think this year’s picture is going to give me more than I could have ever dreamed because what’s in the picture is just as telling and crucial as what isn’t.