One of my mom’s favorite family pictures is of my sister and me, both in our early 20s, glaring at her. Angry and sweaty, we’re both giving her the finger. There’s a long story behind the photo, but basically, it involved a tour we begged not to take and an endless un-air conditioned taxi ride that left us stuck on a closed Costa Rican road. It was all my mom’s fault, we decided, and we pouted like spoiled brats. So my mom pointed her camera at us. My mom liked the photo so much, she had it framed on her bedroom dresser for a while. Every time she looked at it, she smiled. I have to admit, it’s a funny photo. I didn’t think so at the time. But looking back, it taught me an important lesson about family vacation photos: take photos of the bad times, too.
Photos of the Bad
The Bad Times Can Be the Best Memories
Our family vacation photos rotate through my computer’s screen saver. I have one of the kids and their grandparents all giving the “thumbs down” while waiting on an 12-hour flight delay (I’m still mad about it, United Airlines!); one that’s all black, with nothing other than cell phone light, from a late night power outage in our St. Louis hotel room; and my son making a classic “eeew gross!” face while reluctantly trying Wisconsin fish fry for the first time.