Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile.
This was his very first school pic. Well, first official, get cleaned up and wear a nice shirt school-year picture. He posed for one of those safety cards last year, and looked like a proper thug. A crying thug. And angry crying thug that might take your juice if you looked at him the wrong way.
I'll admit to being absolutely nervous about the school pic. You see, any change in his pre-school routine usually ends up being some form of meltdown/shutdown/beatdown. He hates those little programs they always put on around various holidays where the kids sing songs that no one can understand and do little dances and all other sorts of activities that make the batteries run out on your cam-corder. Although I'm pretty sure he likes the cupcakes and treats afteward. Even after a week of making me a little crazy by singing all the songs, repeatedly, at home, if you should mess up the routine of "breakfast, circle time, table time, playground clean-up, potty and bus home" (his pat answer when I ask him what he did at school that day) and he will sit on the riser like an angry hobbit and sing nary a word. There is a way things are supposed to be done, and god help the person who fucks it up.
So, I didn't hold out a lot of hope that the picture would go well. I spent the week before practicing "picture" with him--sitting him down, smiling for the camera and then letting him see the picture. And I will say, it is the best bit of pre-teaching that has stuck with him. To this day, when he sees a camera, he'll mug and say "picture!" That and he's a bit of a ham. If bit means I worry that he's gonna want to be an actor when he's older and never get a real job.
So the morning of doomsday, I put him in his little shirt and sweater-vest--nerdy cute--did what I could with his hair, and sent him on his way. After that, all I could do was hope.
A few weeks later, I got to see the group photo they took with the class--and there was my kid, squirming, refusing to stand with the other kids, red in the face. At that moment, I lost all hope that his school pic would be any good. I told myself, it's just pre-school. We've still got another year to work on this (thanks to that December birthday). In the words of Tim Gunn, we would make this work!
Then a few weeks later, lo and behold, this gorgeous picture came home tucked into his school bag. I couldn't believe it. There he was, sitting still, SMILING, eyes twinkling, a pale little angel instead of a blotchy-faced imp. I was gobsmacked. Still am, I think.
So I framed it and put it up on our growing "family picture" wall--you know the one--the wall with bad marks on it that you try to cover up with a bunch of pictures arranged artistically instead of just painting the wall. And every day when I sit at my desk and write blather, I can look up and see that beautiful smile and know there's hope yet.
At least I know he'll have a good headshot in the future...