We made a pit stop before running to Costco earlier this week. I let Maxwell and Ella play for a few short minutes and then sly suggested I wanted to take a QUICK picture. Right on cue, Maxwell was ready to smile. Fake smile, but still a happy face.
I started with the fail proof, "make a funny face!"
I must have made some lame attempt to get them excited here because sweet boy is all, "Sure Mom! But we do get ice cream after, right?" Meanwhile, Ella is practicing a sassy teenager face. But you can tell she kind of wants to smile.
But the whole time Maxwell keeps saying "Mama, I'll smile!" And my heart melts because he's being so carefree and fun.
She still won't look at me but she's clearly daydreaming about something good. Like setting dogs free from the pound.
Then I oblige Maxwell and buy them ice cream because he's being adorable and kind. But I only take pictures of Ella because I'm determined to get her to look happy.
And distracts her from trying to look miserable. She finds a box of free tree trimmings and asks to bring some home. I obviously agree and she thinks I'm amazing for the first time today.
This entertains her for 20 minutes while I alternate my time between watching her sweet face and catching glimpses of batman sprint between rows of Christmas trees.
Then days later I upload these images on my computer and remember each one. And decide that while Ella's shots end up the prettiest, this very last one of Maxwell is my favorite. Even though it's blurry. Even though he looks goofy. Because this shot is what I remember about this day. My boy who can usually be very particular and sometimes difficult loved every suggestion I had. He loved the outing. He tolerated my camera. He smiled on command. And then he played. And asked me to play too. So I put my camera down and chased him. And those sweet pictures are the ones I have in my heart.