The Boring Word About Picture Day

October 2, 1985

One evening last week my son announced at 9:30 pm “Guess I better take a shower, tomorrow is picture day.”
This was the first I had been informed of the event. At least he mentioned it. My younger son had remained silent and when questioned his reply was “Oh, yeah.”

Of course both boys needed a haircut and no one had a clean shirt that was suitable for pictures. For the 16th year I read the paper that says no loud colors, no white shirts, etc, etc.

I tried to remember what everyone had worn last year. (I could have looked at the pictures but that would have been too easy.) In our house clothing is passed down to the next sibling and we have been known to wear the same sweater vest or shirt as our brother did two years ago. Finally we had our wardrobe although I had to agree to let the youngest (who can’t stand dress clothes) wear his good shirt with jeans.

Why I worried I don’t know since most school pictures seem to fall into the category of passport or driver’s license pictures. After those first few years when all children are cute our pictures show smiles that are too big, no smiles, closed eyes, hair in our eyes, ruffled hair, collars turned inside, wrinkled sweaters and of course all the bruises which kids acquire just prior to picture day.

If those problems are not enough at least three times our pictures have been lost, been out of focus or had some other flaw. Then we had to go through the whole process again.

Last year after insisting on just the right shirt, trimming hair and discussing the to smile so you look some what normal, my middle school son brought home his yearbook with his name listed “not pictured”.

When I taught nursery school we also had picture day. I remember one year when two little boys decided they didn’t want their picture taken. As they marched in line to meet the photographer they quietly moved over into the line returning. It was not until a month later that we discovered the deception and I began to receive the frantic phone calls. I heard from mother, father and grandmother. All were heartbroken that their pride and joy did not appear in the composite picture of the class. They wanted all the class pictures retaken. I was informed that the family was keeping a scrapbook to be present to the young man’s bride on their wedding day. “What will she think when there is no nursery school picture,” I was asked. The young man should be reaching his late teens by now. I wonder how he explains his lost school picture to all girl friends!