First Day of School Lessons


The First Day of School Picture.


It’s the holy grail {okay, not really, but for the sake of drama and this post let it go}

Not just any picture, either.

The perfect one.

Just the right expression with the perfect accessory or sign or signs or props.. whatever.

I’m no rookie.


I have a fourth grader, y’all.

I had a plan for today.  It involved fun chalkboards, our new yard, my kids’ personalities and fun.

Well hell’s bells if we don’t all know what they say about making plans.

Kid 1 had a nightmare last night that placed her firmly in bed with us all night which in case y’all don’t know means I slept in fitful spurts of about 15 minutes each.  I woke up to a dreary foggy day {umm hello… mama nature, it’s August, in Texas… what’s with the fog and rain and 70 degree weather?}

I was drowsy and dreary and desperately trying to beat the rain and utilize any and all natural light that I could find and I did everything wrong.

I knew it, and yet it wasn’t until I plugged my CF card into my reader about 30 minutes ago that I realized just how badly I’d bungled the whole 1st day of school picture thing.

Hell, this might as well be titled How NOT to take First Day of School {or any other day} Pictures.

4th  2-3765

She looks cute, right?  Until you look in her eyes and at her body language and expression and realize that it’s a sweet picture of any child, but it doesn’t tell me anything about her.  There’s no personality, no sass, no HER.  It’s just a pose.

Then Monkey, poor kid.  I snapped at him to quit flaring his nostrils and closing his eyes and he ends up looking kind of disturbing.

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I rushed them.

I posed them.

I directed them.

I forgot to let them be themselves.

I forgot to tell them to laugh and play and show me their attitude, their excitement, their joy.

I chanted: “smile, hurry the rain is coming, come on just smile.. stop squinting, just hold the sign HERE and SMILE”

I forgot to cherish and celebrate what it is that I love the most about my children.

I forgot to capture their spirits, their sparkle, that inexplicable spark that makes them THEM.





Life doesn’t often give do-overs.  Tomorrow, we’re doing a do-over.  Tomorrow I’m going to tell them to have fun, to show me with their eyes, their bodies, their smiles, their sparks… to remind them to have fun and show me what they’re feeling.

Because it’s not about capturing perfection, it’s about capturing life, and I need to remember that.

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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