Today was school picture day for the girls. I took what I consider a totally non-traditional approach to the whole thing. I think the technical term for it would be the Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That Shit Approach. It’s kind of my signature approach lately. I’m thinking of getting it trademarked.
I think it started with a text I got from another momma alerting me to the insane price gouging on the photo packages (which reminded me of this hilarious meme I shared on Facebook a couple of weeks ago). School picture prices are totally out of control—especially when I can guarantee that at least one out of two daughters will have no interest in being fake happy for a stranger.
But, maybe even more importantly, how much worth am I actually going to assign to a stuffy, sure-to-be-awkward photo five years from now? Sure, it might be giggle worthy. But will it really tell me anything about my daughter’s personality when a stranger combs her hair the way he or she sees fit and then spends roughly ten seconds with her before moving on to the next kid in line?
I’ll answer that for you: nope.
Lately, I’m much more interested in more candid shots of my daughters. Sure, they might realize I’m taking a picture. But I rarely pose them into a position I see fit or stop to fix their clothes or hair before snapping a photo. I don’t want to remember the Pinterest-perfect shit.
I want to look back at photos when they’re older and laugh hysterically that Ellie’s butt crack is showing or that her face is smeared with lip gloss. I want to see Samantha with big, poofy Hermione Granger-like hair and remember that she wore it that way on purpose because she liked it and didn’t care what anyone else thought. I want to recognize Ellie’s phase of very deliberately tucking her hair tightly behind her ear or Samantha’s obsession with bright, mismatched socks.
Their quirks are the things that are important to me. Not photos of them looking perfect.
So, this morning I took a very laid-back approach. I didn’t fight with them about what they should look like. Ellie deemed it absolutely essential that her hair was curly. So girlfriend got an early bath before dance class last night so that momma could give her four little braids to help bring those curls out. She picked out her entire outfit, right down to the emoji bracelet that no one will even see. Samantha put on a dress that she loves that’s just slightly too small and brushed her hair nice and poofy before putting a little product in it to make herself feel more grownup. She put on big bottle cap earrings with Harry Potter characters glued inside.
When they were ready to go out that door, I was pretty sure that my heart might literally burst. My girls felt completely comfortable with themselves and completely beautiful. What better gift is there to give them?