Thursday, September 27, 2012

Picture Day

As I was dropping children off at school today, I overheard another mother asking the teacher about the upcoming picture day. She asked if she could just make the choice of paying for the pictures after she had seen how they turned out. The teacher informed the woman that no, you had to pre-pay for the package you want, then if you are not satisfied you can sign up for re-takes. The woman went on to explain how her daughter hasn't been so "photogenic" lately. "Have you seen her in pictures lately? Her smile is so goofy."  To which, I wish the teacher would have replied "You know, I haven't even had the chance to go through the 179 pictures the room mom has taken, to see if your daughter's smile has in fact gotten "goofy" in the four weeks that I've known her. Why don't we skip having a math lesson next week, so I can spend my time on that for you." 

Isn't that what being a kid is about, being goofy? And aren't school pictures about marking how you progressively get goofier and goofier each year until you're a senior when you get to have a full color photo shoot to commemorate the very height of your goofy-ness?

I tried to find my senior picture but it's in that blue box.

So I guess I'll just have to re-enact it.
Only I think my hair was much much bigger. And by bigger, I mean wider AND taller.
Anyway, a child's beauty is in her innocence, in her lack of self - consciousness.  There will be way too much time, and much sooner than you'd like, for her to worry about how her hair looks and to practice a "natural" smile.  Let the camera capture each stage no matter how sweaty, messy, mismatched and goofy she is. She is a child. Let her be a child and take a picture of how she really is, not who you wish she was. Because some day all too soon, you'll wish you had that awkward, innocent goofy little girl sitting in your lap. And all you'll have is a picture of someone small trying too hard to be perfect. 

1 comment:

  1. A friend of mine told me how they let their boys "style" themselves for picture day. I followed his lead and my kids are allowed to pick out their own clothes and fix their hair. At first it was tough for this mamma to let go and not doll them up. But now I have a real snapshot of who they really were at that age. Plus, the way I look at it I will be assured of the embarrassing photos for graduations, weddings...