picture imperfect

ImageIt’s fall in Texas. The mornings are cool and afternoons toasty. Only a handful of trees have received notice of the season change. And, the only true indicators of fall are incited ourselves.

Here in Texas, where the weather boycotts cold fronts, we celebrate the spirit of fall. We do pumpkin lattes in 80 degrees, oversized wreaths exploding with leaves and scarecrows, and we do pumpkins. Lots and lots of pumpkins. Did you know there are at least 10 pumpkin patches all within a 10-mile drive from my house? I love it.

This fall, a number of obstacles have kept us from a trip to the pumpkin patch. But, I decided to throw sanity and priorities aside – who needs to grocery shop? -, so we could have our day at the patch. I’m a sucker for perfect pumpkin pictures.

I recruited my mom to help wrangle the boys. We took them to this great farm called Big Orange Pumpkin Farm in Celina, Texas. It’s a beautiful farm with pumpkins, animals and tractors. A little boy’s dream. I couldn’t wait to let loose the camera.

After dragging the boys across the farm for picture after picture, and halfway blinding them with the flash, I gave up. If one wasn’t crying, the other was trying to make a break for it. And, Austin didn’t even care about the pumpkins. What was the point? So much for those fall photos. Begrudgingly, I handed Austin the cup of animal feed that I had been leveraging for cooperative, smiling pictures. As he ran off with his prize, I continued to scroll through my photo fails when I heard it.

Giggles. Sweet giggles were erupting from my Austin. He laughed and smiled as the goats gulped feed from his tiny hands. At first, all I could think was how badly we would need some hand sanitizer after this. But, then I watched. I really watched. There was pure joy and wonderment pouring from him. We stayed there for a while, soaking in the moment. Austin pet the goats, inspected each one and begged for just enough food to feed the rest of the animals. He even found a posse of goats and dubbed himself their leader, chattering away at them with explicit instructions not to eat the rocks they appeared to be licking.

This is what this trip was about. Not about the pictures to remember this day, but about making the moment itself and making that memorable. Pictures sure do tell a sweet story, but it’s even sweeter living it.

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