Recently our grandchildren had their school pictures taken. Of course all of them are beautiful and the photos will be treasured always. But while thinking about school pictures of the past I couldn’t help but reflect on the anxious moments that “SCHOOL PICTURE DAY” sometimes created.
When I was a kid, Mom had my brother and I wear matching clothes on picture day. Not sure if the humiliation was intentional. Every year was another black and white snapshot of crew cut, buck teeth and plaid shirt. Looking back on those photos from 1st to 8th grade is like looking at the progression of early man from Neanderthal to modern human.
With our own children, who wore uniforms to school everyday, picture day was special because it was “out of uniform” day, too. I have never really understood a school that takes pride in its uniformed minions allowing (encouraging?) picture day to be uniform-free. So one day each year the “what am I going to wear?” crisis took place. Truth be told, looking back at those old photos, it appears that some of those fashion choices were made with intentional humiliation. Sorry kids – we apparently possessed poor parenting skills.
With digital photography and nearly instant access, parents today are offered a multitude of choices; different poses; different backgrounds; different lighting. Adorable keepsakes all.
But somehow I kind of miss the crap-shoot of the old days. The only choices we had were: wallet size, 5 x 7, or 8 x 10. The mug was the same on all. You didn’t know until “SCHOOL PICTURE DELIVERY DAY” if you had kept your eyes open or if you were smiling or if your hair was sticking up or if you were missing teeth or if that black eye or fat lip was noticeable.
Those photos may have been a truer chronicle of our school days than what today’s kids have. At least they’re funnier.