So…I'm doing this 30-day blogging challenge. I supposed I should get around to writing an actual post about that, explaining why, but today isn't that day. I'm taking it back to old school blogging (which is one of the reasons I raised my hand to do this 30-day challenge, but again, today isn't the day for all the explanations) and doing a #PicturedNotPictured challenge. That's where I show you a picture and talk about what's in the picture and what's going on that isn't in the picture. Because isn't that always the way it goes?
You see a smiling, happy, cherubic baby in clean clothes. What the picture doesn't show is the hot mess on the couch (piles of laundry of questionable cleanliness and that pile of crap that keeps getting moved from the coffee table to the chair to the edge of the couch that no one sits on.) The picture doesn't show the 20 (or more) dud shots where the baby wasn't looking at the camera or the fact that the cute, pristine outfit has a sweet potato stain that's been artfully cropped out.
You get the idea. Here's my #PicturedNotPictured. I've been wanting to do this for a while and I just…well, I just haven't.
This picture shows a little boy at the lake, wearing a blindfold and carrying a rubber chicken. there are cones and ropes and it's obvious he's playing some kind of field day game. There are people playing tennis and roasting marshmallows in the background. Wholesome summer fun and all that stuff.
The little guy is my nine-year-old son Kyle. He's being verbally guided through an obstacle course (and yes, we use the term obstacle course loosely) to find a rubber chicken. Once he delivers the rubber chicken back to his station, he gets the prompt for his next activity and his team moves on.
What you don't see in the picture is that my son is at a camp for kids with limb differences and limb loss and their families. You can read more about Camp No Limits here if you'd like to know more. If you're thinking Kyle or his partner don't look like they have limb differences or limb loss, you'd be correct. The camp we attend every year includes activities for siblings and parents, activities that bring families together, and typical camp stuff, like marshmallows and swimming. Because its…well, camp.
What you don't see is how much my child with four sound, intact limbs is impacted by people who are kicking ass at life with less. With part of a limb missing. With one limb, two limbs, and more missing. Seeing these campers and their families helps Kyle to appreciate all sorts of different people. It helps him to appreciate himself and helps him to challenge himself. He's been struggling with confidence in the water and being helped by two adult role models who have one leg between the two of them is both humbling and empowering. It is for me, anyway. I know a nine-year-old can't fully articulate those things.
The pictures of Kyle playing Amazing Race style games at camp isn't the same as cropping out bits of your messy house or having to take a plethora of pictures of your baby before you get the Insta-worthy snap you seek. Every #PicturedNotPictured tells – or doesn't tell – a different story. What will yours be?
If this post inspires you to do a #PicturedNotPictured post, please link it in the comments or tag me on Instagram so I can see. I'll explain more about that 30-day blog post thing another time but it has a little bit to do with trying to find a little bit of myself I think I might have misplaced.