There is an unwritten rule in parenthood: Crisis doesn’t occur until Picture Day. Really. Ask any parent and they will tell you a story. This year, it seems, we could not escape the curse.
“Now don’t worry, but I want you to be aware…”
I dread when my husband prefaces a story involving our children in this way.
But before I could reply, I spotted it: a pink mountain of flesh had filled the entire space between my daughter’s eyes.
And this is how a mosquito sabotaged our little girl’s first school photo.
I think imperfection is what leads us to remember the moments we capture in time. Take my first school photo, for example. My hair had never been cut. Who knew that I would inspire Meg Ryan in the years that followed?
Or consider my first grade picture. ALL eyebrows. I still don’t know why I looked so surprised.
But perhaps most memorable of all was my third grade picture. That morning I woke up in our pastor’s home. My father had been at my mother’s side all night in a hospital over an hour away.
When I was eight years old, I wore a red and black polka-dot dress that was too small for Picture Day. I didn’t consider the wrinkles when I hurriedly shoved it into my overnight bag. All I could think of was Mom. Who would help me with my hair?
Ironically, it is the only school picture I have not been able to locate in adulthood.
We couldn’t afford prints that year.
Everything, of course, comes full circle. Picture Day is now stress that I get to internalize. But what have I really learned if I don’t carry gratitude?
Gratitude for two precious children – who get to wake up in their own beds, who get to have both parents prepare them for a special picture.
And perhaps no one will appreciate the mosquito bite moment more than Grandma.