Near as damn it, each year in the summer, Team Fargo UK and Team Fargo US gather at the Little Compton, Rhode Island house. And summer is typically when the matriarch of the family and photographer extraordinaire (my mother-in-law) takes a family picture for the annual Team Fargo Christmas card.
When the children were small, the challenge was getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time with wide eyes and big smiles. And being a film camera in those early days, you pretty much wouldn’t know how the thing turned out until CVS developers handed you your 4 x 6 prints a week later.
Now of course we have the technology to take half a dozen pathetic attempts at a group shot and merge them into one where everyone looks as though they were looking at the camera at the same time on the same day and in the same place. You know the kind of thing. Photo one might have someone not looking at the camera, but in photo two they are succeeding at this simple task. The problem then is that other people who managed to look at the camera in photo one are not doing so in photo two (#Sigh). Again, thank the Lord for Photoshop.
This muse was triggered as I was trying to find decent photographs for our annual family Christmas card. Total group shots are now nigh impossible, so we collage the thing instead. The featured image reminded me of how rare it is, now that the children are grown, to not only have them in the same place at the same time, but all of them in the same place with their grandmother or, indeed, their mother.
How soon we go from knowing our children’s every move, who they’re with and what they’re doing to scattered around the globe with persons unknown.
Of course I feel blessed to have children eager to be out there exploring the world. It’s just sometimes you can’t help hankering for the days when you were their world, begging them to look at a camera (God damn it!) and smile.
One consolation of changing times is that they now seem to have this simple skill down pat.