There is one school picture of mine that I remember with particular clarity. It was probably first or second grade and I have on a maroon Izod sweater, blue pants and my Eliot-from-ET bowl haircut is flat and perfect. I look good. Damn good. That’s the last time I remember thinking that while looking at a school photo. Do they do this in other countries? Or is it a particularly American thing? To mark each academic year with a photo set against a golden forest backdrop.
As a student I would have been totally willing to forgo this annual existential torture if it meant not having so, so many pieces of evidence of just how awkward those years were. I’m perfectly willing to expunge 1989-1997 from my memory. It’s just littered with a minefield of cringing memories and bad middle school dances.
As a parent however, I’m finally starting to see the value of the ritual and I will scrap and claw to keep paying those exorbitant printing fees each year for those faux-backdrops and timeless evidence. Here is this year’s photo and she looks good, damn good, and she always will to me.
(Note: the first year the school was open there weren’t enough students to get a photographer, so I substituted my own September photo).