In the fall of 1988, I had a terrible case of strep throat. Besides the razor blade sore throat, I had a fever and a headache that kept me in bed for a few days. I wanted to die. If not for Alexander Fleming and his penicillin discovery, I think I might have.
I vividly remember this week because it was picture day at school for our fourth grade daughter, and I had to pass off the morning “getting her ready” duties to my husband, who was scooting to work the minute she was on her way to school.
Let me just say up front, my husband’s a good guy. That needs to be clear. Because when you see the harvest from picture day, you’ll think he walks through life with half a brain cell.
I have to backtrack a bit…the previous year, for Halloween, our daughter was a skeleton. You’ll see why I share this with you in a moment. I painted all the bones in a black outline onto a white sweat shirt and sweat pants. It was a cute get-up, and our girl loved it. In fact, over time, this costume became her P.J.s because the sweats were soft and cozy as the weather turned chilly.
More back info…our daughter often had a single French braid because yours truly loved braiding her thick auburn hair. Our girl could not have cared less what her hair looked like. She favored a quick ponytail – anything to get it out of her way so she could climb trees and tear around with her brothers.
But, if mom wanted to braid her hair, fine. Whatever. (To this day, our girl allows me to play with her hair. She’s cool that way.) If she slept in her braid, we had a fuzzy mess in the morning, but no biggie, we’d undo the braid, wash it or wet it, comb it out and start over. More fun playing with hair.
Back to picture day. I can’t begin to tell you. Just see for yourself.
Clearly, the day prior to picture day was French braid day. And somebody didn’t notice his child was heading off to school in her P.J.s.
I can only imagine what the photographer was thinking: Is this kid homeless? Does she not own a comb? What’s with all the bones?
Did not one teacher (at the time, all women) take this child aside and brush her hair out? Did they really think this was the look we wanted on picture day?
Thank God I spelled ‘clavicle’ correctly. It will be forever immortalized in this picture.
Thirty-four years later, I can only laugh (howl, really) at this photograph. It’s representative of a phase in our life when we had three kids that were in too many activities, and Dad didn’t notice his beautiful daughter, on that morning, resembled a scarecrow.
Grade school pictures are often, years later, good for a chuckle, but this one…when I came across it yesterday, I laughed until tears were running down my face.
Across the nation, school pictures will be taken soon. Let this be a cautionary tale to moms everywhere.