Do You Remember Picture Day?

Picture Day!!!

Do you remember that day as a kid or only now as a parent? What is it about this day that gets a person all out of sorts.

I remember the days leading up to picture day as a kid in elementary school. Picking out the right outfit while trying to convince my mother that my opinion on the ideal outfit was better than her opinion on what I should wear for that day. My hair was always another issue. Growing up with a ‘beautician’ had both its benefits and drawbacks. The drawback? She thought she knew best when it came to styling MY hair. Any other day I’d give in to her whims, but this was MY day, MY picture, MY moment to shine. And then there was practicing the smile in the mirror. Teeth or no teeth. Serious and mysterious, or happy and lively.

The day was here and you would walk in to class that morning hoping your choices held up to those of your classmates. Lisa wore a dress too. Good, I wasn’t the only one. Thelma wore dangling earrings, I wish my mom allowed me to wear those. Is Trisha wearing a bit of makeup? Never in a thousand years would that fly in my home.

Now you find yourself in front of the photographer on a cold metal stool propped in from of a humdrum backdrop. A stranger that questions his career choice every time he has to deal with over 100 kids in one morning. A stranger that doesn’t care if you blinked. A stranger that doesn’t care if your collar wasn’t straight, or if you had a hair out-of-place. “Sit up straight, face the lens and smile”. A bright light, you blink and it’s over. “Next!”

Let us not forget the class picture. Row positioning was of great importance. You created an entire outfit around this moment in hopes that it could be displayed front and center. Tall kids second row, the rest of us shuffled between sitting in the front row or having to stand on a bench behind everyone else. Front row, third seat in. Score!

And just like that, the day is over.

Your stress now enters the next phase…WAITING. The weeks go by. Then one day, after everyone has settled in to their seat, the teacher asks you to come up and grab your long-awaited envelope as she calls your name for attendance. A little portion of my spirit dies in that moment. We are given about 30 minutes to mingle and show our classmates our picture. For some it’s a moment to “show-off”. I do not fall in to that category. I hesitantly open my envelope, I glance in and let out a sigh of relief. I’m happy with it. My hair, my outfit, even my smile holds up to my expectations. We all laugh, admire one another and even comfort others.

Fast forward about 35 years. Today was my son’s picture day. Last night I filled out the form highlighting MY choice of backdrop. Blue. I picked out his outfit, nothing dressy and nothing stuffy. A nice tailored grey t-shirt, long pants. He’s been wearing shorts to school so far since technically it’s still summer. This morning, I present him with the chosen outfit and have to go in to some diatribe about the long pants. We compromised with a pair of shorts in his backpack if he wants to change afterwards. He holds still while I gel up his hair just the way HE likes it. And then we take literally 30 seconds to practice his smile and he stresses out about his two missing front teeth. He’s relieved when I tell him that’ll be the best part of this picture.

I have now entered the next phase as a parent….WAITING…. but this time I’m not stressed. Because no matter what, I know I’m going to just love having my son’s 2nd grade school picture. I just hope he showed off his missing front teeth and his one dimple.

I love picture day!

— The Pretty Platform



7 thoughts

  1. Loved this post. I remember sitting in the chair for my picture and the photographer would always say, “turn your head this way, nope too far, back to the left, tilt it up, look straight, turn your head just a bit more…and you’re done. I never felt so much like a robot!

    1. That is so true. I’m guessing that’s what models feel like. Haha! But you’re lucky that you had photographers that at least seemed to care that you weren’t all slumped over. My mom was mortified always with my posture. Thank you for enjoying the post as much as I had writing it.

    1. Corina, thank you so much for taking the time to visit. OMG…I think I still worry about teeth or no teeth when taking a picture. And isn’t that Things We Like project just genius? I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. So thank you again for visiting and commenting and I hope you come again. I went to visit your blog and wow….just amazing. And I agree with you on the audio notes. I can’t deal with the sound of my own voice. It’s something I need to get past since I want to start a vlog as well. Good luck to me on that. Here’s an amazing line of yours in the Welcome section that I absolutely love and describes me to a tee…. “So this is my experimental space, a writing lab to combine little particles of life and marinate things I wonder about”.

      So beautifully said.

      1. Hello! You’re very welcome for the visit and thanks a lot for stopping by my corner, too 🙂 Yes I do love the Things We Like lists! It’s so interesting to see things both familiar and new in others. I always leave there with a smile. And here’s to both of us mastering the teeth/no teeth smile issue😂 I’m looking forward to reading your take on things!

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