That's right. Today was the day for school pictures at our local elementary school.
My prayer on the way to school was, "Twenty-Five minutes, Lord. Twenty-five minutes."
Twenty-five minutes of stain-free, tear-free, buttons up and cowlicks down. Straight collars and crooked smiles needed for just twenty-five minutes. That's it.
I rejoiced when I learned pictures would begin at 8:10, just twenty-five minutes from the minute we left our house.
8:10 is before lunch when professional Gatorade drinkers have learned how to best maximize red moustaches. It's before recess when master sandbox players have asked to go get water and made mud stains on their t-shirts. It's before P.E. when those future pro athletes have sweated their hair into looking like it's full of static cling. 8:10. Please Lord, just twenty-five minutes.
Why am I a freakishly neurotic controlling monster when it comes to school pictures? Two small reasons.
Number one, I have to pre-pay an exorbitant price to capture said moment and to support the school. Number two, I'm just not always sure what I'm getting. Let me explain.
When I was a kid my school pictures chronicled way more than I ever want to remember. Kindergarten sports my first perm. Not a success. First grade looks like a mug shot with a boy haircut (to fix unsuccessful perm) and white under shirt. Second grade looks like I fixed my own hair. Third grade my eyes are closed. You get the picture.
My children's school pictures would be different. Beautiful. Picturing them in ways they would want to remember themselves and show off to their future spouses and children would be well worth the effort. I would get them up early, curl their hair, coordinate their clothes. Heck, I would even pay $20 extra if that's what it would take to airbrush their imperfections.
So, Julia gets up early. She wears that special shirt from Gymboree. I con her into wearing the big coordinating bow. The compromise. Jeans that were too short and her beloved purple boots. Not just any purple boots. These purple boots are shiny with sparkly flowers and they light up when she walks. They were some boots!
But the glory of the situation was that they were boots. Boots never show in school pictures. Just the face. Hair ranks at the top of the importance list for school pictures.
Imagine my shock and utter amazement when Julia's school pictures came in and she was sitting atop a haystack. Complete with high-water jeans and big purple boots. Remember these weren't vintage-western lavender boots. They were bright, patent, purple, prissy-baby-astronaut-of-the-future boots. And they were right on top of a red bandanna laying on that haystack, in front of that antique wagon wheel.
Needless to say, I've learned to support the school with school picture money and forego the $20 airbrushing add-on.
These are last year's pictures...Just before we buzzed Palmer's hair. All things considered, I think they were largely successful. As for this year's pictures, I'll let ya know.