Picture IMperfect Family

Mother defined by her heart.jpg

The image of our family is always hard. It’s not what I planned. It’s not the complete picture that I had envisioned. There is something missing. What we have makes it hard to answer “How many kids do you have?” An innocent question that can’t be answered without what feels like an awkward exchange. When we have a formal family picture taken, I bring a dragonfly to mark his spot in the photo. That's more for me than it is for anyone else. It's better for me to have his spot marked in some tangible way.
In my mind’s eye, the picture is as it should be. Four stair-step boys and their baby sister, but what I have to show to the world is something different. Lach’s pictures are on the wall in line with the rest of them, but it isn’t right. It never will be. I should have a school picture of my second grader on the wall with the standard head and chest shot and smooth gray background. It should be right there, between my 4th grader and kindergartener, instead of the close up snapshot of his adorable face with a laundry basket backdrop.
While Lach leaves pictures on the wall missing something, I think the images in our hearts are enhanced. When we imagine our family together, it has to be with heaven as the backdrop. With his place being in heaven instead of our home, we are left with a constant reminder that we are destined join him and we destined for something beyond here. The kids all know that Lachlan is in heaven and that if we play our cards right we will someday have the opportunity to join him in paradise. We dream together of what heaven might be like. Emmett grins and giggles at the thought of a new and improved body. Leo will at times ask in exasperation, “When can I die? It takes sooo long! I want to go to heaven!” While it’s a little disturbing to hear your preschooler whine about why he can’t die already, I love that he is looking forward to his place beyond earth where we can be together forever and where our family picture will finally reflect what’s in our hearts.