Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Cure to School Picture Woes

Toasting my cousin Taylor and his new wife Kellen and wishing them the best on their upcoming move to South Korea with the Air Force.

A family shot at the end of the night!  I think each one of my kids ate their body weight between the buffet and cake station!  Notice the hazy, sugary expression on their faces!

There are a couple of days a year I dread.  Take deep breaths sort of dread.  Want to slide under the covers until the afternoon sort of dread.  School picture day is one of them.

My boys favor the more athletic (dare I say unkempt) sort of look.  As mentioned in a previous blog, they gravitate towards comfort.  Sweatpants are their go-to wardrobe choice.  Anything with a collar and a zipper (and sorely lacking an animal print or superhero image) is classified as church clothes and would never be a serious contender for school attire. 

Keep that in mind.

School picture day is a bit like the movie Groundhog's Day.  Somehow, in the course of a year, they've forgotten what is consider "picture apparel."  We engage in the same debates, year after year.

They'll arrive at the breakfast table clad in a Mount Rushmore/Star Wars T-shirt and running pants.  A shocked expression will appear on their faces when I nix their choice.  Theatrics, debating, and pleading will ensue.  Despite it all, I'll stand firm.

They'll stomp up the stairs.  Five minutes later, they'll reappear in attire that makes them look like cherubs.  I'll sigh and try my darnedest to suppress the dream that maybe, just maybe, they could look like this every day!

Yesterday was the same.  After a rocky morning, they piled into the car, four scowls radiated from the back seats.  As we pulled into the carpool line, one son yelled, "We're the only one wearing nice clothes!"

I relished in proving him wrong.  In a matter of seconds, I pinpointed a dozen (equally uncomfortable looking) students in similar clothing.  

Caleb, my most vocal opponent, pulled open the car door to grab his trumpet.  I whispered, "Caleb, do you remember how I was tagged in Facebook recently with my grade school picture."

Caleb started to smirk.

I continued, "Remember how completely awkward and miserable I looked,"

He giggled.

"Someday, when you look back at your awkward school photo, you can at least blame your mother for your wardrobe choice!"  

He walked into school giddy.

As I pulled away from the school, I thought about all the years of school picture battles and finally I found the way to alleviate the conflict.  Perhaps self-deprecating humor is the best way to connect to a son when he's not very fond of his mother. 

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