School pictures never go well for us. Over the years, they always return with faces that more resemble mug shots than happy school pictures. One year, it actually looked my daughter was growling at the photographer. Another year, the oldest daughter’s eyes were half shut, and she had a haunting smirk on her face.
That year, our photographer friend rescued us. We met her at the studio in the mall, and for a comparable price, she created the most fabulous photo shoot for my daughters. They could choose all sorts of fun backgrounds, use props, and relax while the camera clicked away. Even better, this great photographer stopped and combed hair, adjusted clothing, and worked to capture the most authentic and vibrant smiles. We left an hour later with a package of prints to send to grandparents and aunts and uncles. And we could display two “school photos” in our living room that didn’t look terrifying.
Telling my daughter she wasn’t ordering school pictures this morning nearly sent her into a fit. That’s when my husband said, “You’re right. I want to make you miserable. I don’t love you at all.”
What she didn’t recall (and couldn’t know) was that his “no” meant a great “yes” and a trip to the mall later. And instead of 3 dull backgrounds, she would choose from a wide array of whimsical ones.
I throw fits in private to the Lord of the Universe about that cosmic “no” (whatever I’m not getting). But that “no” always, always ends with a better, more authentic and more vibrant “yes.” The things I want might just be bad set-ups–as torturing as school photos compared to glamorous photo shoots. When I see it that way, and when I hear that voice chuckling, “You’re right. I want to make you miserable. I don’t love you at all,” I realize how absurd my thinking is.
Do I really believe God withholds something to make me miserable? Because I’m not loved at all? Listening to my husband tease our daughter in the kitchen–and her delight in hearing the absurdity of it–made her actually beg for him to say it again. Even my older daughter wanted a reprise.
I want to make you miserable. I don’t love you at all. We giggled. We hugged. We realized the truth.