Picture day has come and gone, and my kid’s photos have finally (finally!) arrived in their backpacks only a little crumpled. Am I excited about this? You betcha! Did I spend waaay too much money on packages for both kids with the half-dozen different copies in five different sizes so I can send copies to everyone? You bet I did!
I’ve got to tell ya, I don’t understand how parents don’t buy their kid’s class photos every single year. This small memory of their childhoods is precious to me and can’t be replicated. Oh sure, I could go and have my kids photographed by pros in a studio, but honestly, those photos, while great, don’t capture the truth of who school children are.
Who are they? They’re goofy. Their clothes are miss-buttoned with one collar higher than the other. They’ve got a smudge on their cheek because they took their picture after snack time and the teacher didn’t catch it in time. They’re deer-in-the-headlights because the whole picture day process freaks them out just a bit. They’re smiling that weird Chandler Bing smile, because some kids are just like that. They’re not smiling at all because the magical school photographer happened to catch them right before they started crying. They’re smiling their thousand watt smile because holy cow that kid LOVES to smile for cameras! And because no matter how neat and tidy you send them to school, they’re kids, and they’ll be who they are, and all things considered, that cowlick in the back of their fresh haircut just wants to be free!
Why would anyone want a photo album full of perfect pictures of perfect looking children anyway? Childhood is messy. Parenting is messy. There are times when the world has gone bonkers, and what is life if you don’t have the pictures to prove it?
So my wise words to you are to go ahead and buy those silly, too expensive school photos. Set a line in your budget for it if you have to. I do. Buy the smallest package you can get if you want. Just get it!
Those photos are a reminder of what your child was truly like when they were that exact age in school. And you can trace how they change through the years. Of course, it will be dated and awkward in ten years, but I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to be. I’m sure I read that in the parent of a school-ager handbook somewhere. They should live on in your family’s archives as a reminder that we were all silly and awkward looking once. Nobody is perfect. Life isn’t perfect, but those pictures are a perfect reminder of school days gone by.
But don’t buy the spring class photos, because what crazy person thought two sets of class photos per school year was a good (read: financially sound) idea? That’s just crazy. Am I right?!
Also, they need to bring back that classic laser background. My kid’s need those in the background at least one year.