Friday, September 17, 2010

Smile For the Camera

Today is school picture day for my girls.

We spent extra time matching the pieces of their outfits, and smoothing their hair, practicing smiles. I know their photos will turn out perfect, with their growing-up faces and excited little bodies.

And, too, the pictures will be perfect because they're about capturing an essence, and holding it for posterity.

This was the year, those little still shots will say to me.

The year my oldest wanted, more than anything, to be around other people. It's when she learned she could be friends with the kids she didn't understand before. When she discovered hey, she was really great at lots of things, a quick-learner, and that she could practice and progress without growing discouraged. It's when she loved her teacher, again, and her class, and wanted to go back five minutes after she'd returned home. When she first gathered friends' numbers, and made habit of long giggly phone calls. It's when she started taking seriously the role of big sister, guiding and loving and helping. It was the year she was even more beautiful, more free-spirited, than the last.

And it's the year my youngest had enthusiasm seeping from her bones, so excited about everything, especially school. The year she always came home filthy from this thing called recess, and ravenous for this thing called snack. When she was exhausted by Thursday of each week, because all-day kindergarten was something to get used to. When she decided Dora the Explorer wasn't so cool anymore, but she sure liked Littlest Pet Shop and LIV Girls and cowgirl boots and the idea of a diary. It was the year she discovered independence and art and music and really good friends. It was the year she was even more beautiful, more entertaining, than the last.

I'll look at today's pictures and remember, it was a really good year.

*Photo courtesy mikebudden.co.uk. The antique camera makes me think of my cousin Amy. Love you, girl.
*As always, you all are wonderful. Thanks for your comments on my last post.
*I've a new article up at Rose & Thorn Literary Journal. You can find it here.

22 comments:

Christina Banks said...

As a teacher, I always loved school picture day. Of course, we never got much accomplished until the pictures had been taken, but the class always looked their best on that day. I hope the pictures turn out as perfect as you imagine. I'm sure they will.

Slamdunk said...

Lovely post Janna. Each school picture certainly has significance in categorizing time.

Just to confess our poor parenting, we did not realize it was our daughter's preschool picture day last year. Not that it mattered she was terrified of the photo process and just cried during it. Maybe this year will be better.

Rhonda Schrock said...

You captured it in a verbal snapshot. You'll find that they hit a stage where they can't smile natural to save their lives, but that, in its own way, is precious, too.

Sharla said...

What a sweet image of those sweet years! I remember when school pics were like that. Now mine is a high school sophomore, and school pic day is all drama because the importance is ramped up to how perfect hair and makeup can be because "it's going to be in the yearbook forever".

Since she started straightening her hair a few years back (she's a shirley temple naturally) she's done every pic straight. This year for some random reason she decided she wanted a curly picture. I was like, "but...but..." Because while she can pull off curly okay, it's usually a frizzy mess in an hour. It's not those beautiful curls you see people with. But she wanted her 10th grade pic that way. And I was like, "but it is going to be in the yearbook... forever!"

Susan R. Mills said...

Great post! Yesterday was picture day for my youngest.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

So, so sweet. I think you captured the essence of who your kiddos are right now even better than any picture could.

Joanne said...

You've drawn a perfect picture with your words :)

My daughters had all-day Kindergarten too, and did really well with it. Hope your girls have a great school year!

Karen said...

Awwww, what a wonderful post. You should keep this one printed, to give to your girls when they are older. :)

Journaling Woman said...

I would have liked to have enjoyed picture day, but if you've been to either blog of mine you must have seen "the ringlets" for my very first school picture. And my mom said she REALLY did love me.

This IS a wonderful post you should save for your daughters. Please don't make their hair look funny. I'm just saying....

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh yes, school photos! They are magic.

septembermom said...

It really does give such a sense of how the kids grow and become their own personalities.

Melanie Hooyenga said...

*sniffles and hugs*

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Janna -

I'm sure your girls will treasure this post as they get older. They'll see themselves through their mother's eyes.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Capri K said...

Ah, the years pass so quickly. Enjoy them all, they each have their charm.

thedomesticfringe said...

Isn't it funny how parents always look back on school pictures with love, remembering the good things. We look back on our pictures and remember the bad hair, uncomfortable braces, and the fight with our best friend in the 8th grade. Maybe that's just me. I sure love looking at my kid's school pictures though!

-FringeGirl

Deb Shucka said...

Your words are lovely snapshots in themselves.

Stephen Tremp said...

I have copies of all my school pics (mom has originals). Its like taking a trip down memory lane. One year I'm listening to the Monkees, the next The Rolling Stones. But our family is still very close, and that is what is important.


Stephen Tremp

Jessie Oliveros said...

What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing. Each year is so special. I was just watching videos of my son from a year ago, and I want him back.

Jeanette Levellie said...

You are such a great writer. I can picture your girls emerging into the young ladies God created them to be as I read.

You're a great Mom, too.

Terri Tiffany said...

You know your girls and the depth of that love and knowledge is so touching:)

AvDB said...

School picture day: the evolution of, "Why did you make me wear that?" to "How could you let me wear that?" Or, maybe that was just my personal transition from the seventies to the eighties.

Lovely post. Your kids will love to read it when they're older.

AvDB said...

School picture day: the evolution of, "Why did you make me wear that?" to "How could you let me wear that?" Or, maybe that was just my personal transition from the seventies to the eighties.

Lovely post. Your kids will love to read it when they're older.