Sep. 21: Say “cheese,” Ouch-face

Today is picture day for the kids. I searched and searched for something Katie could wear with a somewhat decorative neckline that’s not too busy or trendy or blah. I finally decided on this red sailor dress, which I think is adorable. And this morning when I dropped her off and watched her walk into the school, I thought, “There goes my little 80s girl...” Just wait until she realizes it. It’ll be like the time I figured out my mom was putting me in a poodle skirt every day because she was so fond of the 50s style.

OK, truthfully I don’t think I’ve ever worn a poodle skirt in my life. But I bet my mom suggested it a few times. And if I could remember, I bet it bugged me.

A former classmate of mine is a high school teacher now, and told me the kids planned an 80s day for their Spirit Week one year. She was horrified to see what some of them wore and kept trying to deny we ever dressed that way before she sadly remembered that we did wear the Madonna leggings and lace, the Jelly shoes, the big hair, the geometric patterns, the bright colors, the layers and layers and layers. And she was surprised at how many kids ended up looking like Gilligan. Ah, what memories.

But I digest.

My second thought after dropping Katie off this morning was, “I wonder how much of a mess she’ll get into before she sits in front of the camera.” I think it doesn’t matter how much we get our kids looking picture-perfect, they always find a way to look like themselves again.

Sometimes someone else helps. While Kathy was in line for pictures her junior year, some jackass who probably had a crush on her came over and messed up her hair. The pictures turned out fine, but her hair does look a little fuller in some places.

But sometimes you’re just doing what you do best. On picture day in third grade we had recess just before our class went to the gym for portraits. I was running across the playground, slipped on someone’s coat on the ground (damn satin-y 70s outerwear!) and skidded across the asphalt on my face. Now, if you’ve spent any time around me at all, you know that I am not the most graceful of people. Apparently I never have been. On any other day an injury like that would’ve fallen in the “Not again!” category, but on picture day, well, I was in my usual fine form with incredibly unfortunate timing. Needless to say, I didn’t get my pictures done with the rest of my class. Re-takes were a week later and I got to wear MAKEUP (cool!) to cover the many scabs.

I never ran across the playground again, and when I see Katie running outside, I cringe with the memory of that sunny fall day more than 30 years ago. We discovered early on that Katie inherited my level of grace. Poor girl. I fear she has many broken feet in her future.

Let’s just hope she doesn’t have a major rearrangement of her facial features before 10:00 this morning.

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