I took the kids to the park this weekend and it was so warm and fantastic that I wished I'd brought a book -- I'm reading MARCELO AND THE REAL WORLD and I love it -- so I could have just sat in the grass while they played happily, barefoot in the grass. In this fantasy, maybe I'm sipping some homemade lemonade that I've thoughtfully brought along. There's a checkered blanket.
Everyone is happy.
The parts I leave out of the story are the bits about how The Bun tried to make a new friend and then immediately lost the friend by behaving outrageously and then cried and screamed for twenty minutes and how The Birdy loved the worms she found SO much that she loved them to death.
I probably wouldn't have got much reading in, anyway. The lemonade would have spilled. Wasps would have chased us off the blanket.
That's more real.
When I look at other people's pictures, I sometimes have a palpable feeling of envy. Their kids look so happy! Obviously they are excellent mothers! Better than me! And their kids never act irrationally! I am a failure as a human!
I wonder if everyone feels this way.
Even though I know, of course, that no one is taking pictures of the temper tantrums and heartbreak. No one posts those ones.
It's a kind of life-editing. We all do it. I look back now at old pictures and I think, "Oh, look how happy! Look how fun!"
The other parts are easy to forget. Thank goodness.