Today was picture day at school.
Last night I spent the evening searching closets for presentable clothes that still fit and that were comfortable enough for the kids to wear.
I planned hair-do’s and timed out what time I would need to get up to be able to get the hair-do’s done before I had to leave for work.
I multi tasked my morning like a pro; heating up the curling iron while making coffee, putting on a belt while blow drying my hair.
My kids came downstairs looking perfectly put together and as I handed them their breakfast smoothies I warned them not to spill a thing on their nice, picture worthy outfits.
I brushed the knots out of my daughter’s hair stressing about the fact that I wasn’t able to get her in for a haircut in time for picture day. I beat myself up for not being more prepared and booking an appointment weeks before.
I curled my daughter’s long hair, at her request, and worried about how it would hold up for the day. It was long and difficult to keep off her face. I may be sending her off with nice picture friendly hair but I knew deep down inside that photo was coming back with hair that looked like it hadn’t seen a brush in a week.
In that moment I found myself wondering why I was making such a big fuss over how my kids looked in school pictures.
School pictures aren’t meant to show perfect kids with beautiful frilly dresses and bows in their hair.
School pictures should be a reflection of my kids true selves.
Years from now I want them to look back at their school photos and enjoy relishing in the memories of their school days.
I don’t want them to remember forcing themselves into shirts buttoned all the way to the top and not being able to run and play during recess because they were told not to mess up their hair.
I want them to remember their favourite teacher and the one who drove them nuts. I want them remember their first crush and their best friends. I want my daughter to remember the leggings and tunic she wanted to wear every single day and my son to reminisce about his first pair of Air Jordan’s.
I want my daughter to look back at her elementary school photos and remember that she had so much fun in school that she never even thought about her hair.
They are kids. These are school photos.
I want them to be real.
After I had curled my daughter’s last piece of hair and clipped a small piece back off her face she turned and eyed herself in the mirror looking quite pleased.
She was happy.
This is what I really want.
I want my kids to look back on their childhood and remember that they were happy, not perfect, but happy.