School Picture Day. Those words used to send me into anxiety attacks.
Seriously. I'm not joking.
I love my girls. I try to let them be themselves. On picture day, I always question that decision. When Hope was in preschool, I remember trying to get her to wear a dress. HA! The best I got was a green shirt and sparkly jeans. When I dropped her off at school, all of the other girls—even her friend who liked to play in the dirt with her-were wearing pink and had bows in their hair. Let me just tell you, Hope is not a bow girl. When she was younger, I was lucky to get her in a ponytail or headband (neither of which she would do that day.)
As I left her school, I called Brian, and started bawling. Seeing her look so different from those other girls brought up the biggest fear I harbor: What if I really am the worst mom in the world? What i f my child felt weird and the other kids made fun of her? (Neither of which happened that I know of-she came home with the same skip in her step that she left with.) So, after Brian talked me off the roof once again, I moved on with my day. But every year, when picture day rolls around, I find myself tensing up to see what she will wear.
Caroline is easy when it comes to clothes. She loves dresses (as long as she can wear capris under them). BUT, she has the straightest hair in the world—except for the humps that seem to appear overnight. I spent 45 minutes curling her hair for the Daddy/Daughter Dance and it was almost straight before she left. I used hairspray, mousse and all the other tricks I could think of. I just couldn’t do that this morning, so she put a headband in, I straightened as many humps as possible and put some wax on it so the static (that is ever-present) would stay down.
So, by North Dallas standards, my girls look like rag-a-muffins. Most days I am okay with that. Picture day is another story. And that frustrates me. I place such a high value on authenticity, so why do these stupid pictures bother me? Why do I feel the need to pull out the “pretty shirt” for Hope and try to get her to wear it?
Today, Hope went in a pair of olive green shorts and a brown shirt with polka dots that coordinated with the shorts. Caroline went in a dress w/ capris and stringy hair. They were both wearing tennis shoes and socks (and not the twinkle toes shoes, plain tennis shoes). They both had smiles on their faces when they got out of the car. They both felt confident in what they were wearing. Those are the things that really matter, right???? I DO believe that.
I just hope those around them believe it too and don’t judge my girls—or me—too harshly.