Flashback Friday: Celebrating A New School Year

Here in Iowa, school started in August. But as most communities and states have different calendars, I’ve been seeing “first day of school” posts on my social media feeds for weeks. Now that Labor Day 2012 is history, I think everyone is back at it (just as we are on my university campus).

This can only mean one thing: school pictures are about to happen all over the country!

When my friend Wendy’s oldest child had her first school picture taken, Wendy reported that she was very concerned. “I think I’m going to have her take it again. There’s a mark on her face, and that hair over there is out of place.” My reply, “I think it’s adorable!” was answered with Wendy’s concern that, “I don’t want her to be embarrassed by it when she’s older!”.

What?! Clearly, Wendy did not understand the purpose of grade school pictures – to capture the real child – bumps, scrapes, self-cut bangs and all! Embarrassed? My siblings and I love all of our school photos, especially the bad ones. They so readily capture the zeitgeist of childhood, when living in the moment meant a carefree approach to appearance. There is no place for perfectionism in childhood, nor is our “perfect” look what we celebrate when we think of childhood. So here’s to bad school pictures that capture the heart of childhood!

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