Today was school picture day for both children. What is it about picture day that can leave moms rocking in a corner? These are the days that the coordinating outfits for both children are not clean at the same time or the haircut from the week earlier didn’t quite go as planned or it’s the goose egg that happens the night before or the morning of the picture that leaves you flustered and their face bruised saying, “but your school pictures are tomorrow”. It’s easy to admit that it’s just another day on the school calendar, but secretly in the back of your head you’re really thinking, “This is the picture we’ll have for the rest of our lives”.
Parker is now in second grade and although it has happened quicker than I thought it would come, the baton has been passed. I am no longer the one fretting over the details of the day but rather in my attempt to live by the small potato challenge from my last blog, it was Parker who was taking care of all the details for the day. The polo color was chosen and the hair do was “just right”.
For 2 days leading up to the pictures, Parker had been adamant that I email her teacher and request that the photographer not brush her hair before they take her picture. I kept trying to encourage Parker to tell the photographer herself; however, she was insistent that I take care of it. Taking, my small potato challenge seriously, I figured that the email was silly and of minor importance so I let it go.
Now that the day had finally arrived, her requests for emailing her teacher became more intense so I reassured Parker that I would take care of it; however, in the back of my head I was still thinking how silly the whole thing was becoming. I happened to be volunteering in her room today when the class was called for picture time. Parker looked at me like a deer in head lights when she came to me with one final plea. I finally retreated and told Parker’s teacher her concern. She was so nice about the whole situation and assured me that she would take care of it.
When we walked into the picture room, I quickly scanned the room for those infamous school picture fine tooth combs. I took a deep sigh when I realized there were no combs in sight….we are in… this will be easier than we originally feared. Parker sat down in the seat and was ready for the big moment. Her teacher and I must’ve blinked because before we could do anything, the photographer whipped out the “dreaded weapon”…don, don, don…the fine tooth comb. She might as well have pulled out a knife. I suddenly found myself moving across the room in slow motion saying “dooooon’t ….brruuuuuushhh ….heeeerrrr….haaaair!” (really, I like to remember it as me diving across the room yelling “nooooooooooo” and then reaching the comb just in time to slap it out of her hand before it even touches Parker’s hair). The photographer responded by saying her hair was a mess and she needed it brushed. Humph. I suppose I experienced firsthand why Parker was insistent that she was not the one to speak with the photographer (lesson learned there). I really couldn’t tell you what tone I took with the photographer at that point because all I could truly see through Parker’s freshly combed hair were 2 large blue eyes filled with tears that said so much without any words ever leaving her mouth. Her worst fear (no matter how silly I thought it was before that moment) had just been realized.
The tears continued to fall and she stepped aside to compose herself in order to try for another picture once the entire class had gone through. Every bone in my body wanted to pull her into my lap and have a good cry with her right there in the room or whisk her away and run for the door. I perceived her fear as just another one of her silly quirks and a small potato when really for her, it was larger than life. In my quest to not fret the small stuff, I was too quick to overlook what was important to Parker.
I suppose it really is all about perspective. For the same reason that Parker and Cooper were recently fighting over the seating order while eating dinner. Cooper was insistent that the order was boy, girl, boy, girl because each time he would call the order out he started with himself first. Parker would argue back that the order was not boy, girl, boy, girl but rather it was girl, boy, girl, boy. Well, we all know that they were both right, it was just all a matter of who they started with first and their perspective.
I will be happy when the school pictures are returned. This will be the one that I keep near and dear and in my Bible to look at often. Her hair may not be what she requested and her eyes may still be puffy, red and slightly tear filled, but it will be my reminder that her heart is tender and her needs no matter how small I perceive them to be are larger than life just like the larger than life spirit she has been given by God!