We finally took the picture for our Christmas Card this afternoon. Almost certainly too late to get them printed up and sent out in time for Christmas and only possible after much bribery, arguments about wardrobe choices and general moaning and groaning from everyone present.
Despite the fact that I spent the best part of a day crafting the much more complicated than I anticipated prop for the photo (a story for another day) and a Christmas Card list of almost 100 expectant friends and family, if I'm honest at first, my heart wasn't really in today's photo session, heavy as it is with grief for all those families affected by the Sandy Hook shootings. Does any of this self-imposed Holiday stress really matter when there are families who will never celebrate with their children again? This incident feels so close to home. A shooting in a nice neighbourhood, at a good school. One of the children killed was British, just like my children. Another was a twin whose sister has survived. Our twins have always been in different classes, we would have been facing that heartbreaking scenario too.
But, we're not. We spent the weekend exactly as we would have. Studying for tests, arguing about homework, laughing as we watched Florence dance to Call Me Maybe. Whilst this tragedy affects us deeply and our sympathy for the families is indescribable, mercifully our life goes on. The girls are still hoping that Santa finds them in France and our families and friends want to see the infamous Christmas Card from the Berries, however late it may arrive.
I had all sorts of frivolous Christmassy posts mentally written which after Friday's news suddenly seem so irrelevant, but we have to carry on. It is with gratitude that I post these pictures of my smiling, silly, annoying, argumentative children. You can be sure that they have all had extra tight hugs this weekend.