You typically see them every year. The photos of happy, smiling children on their first day of school gracing your social media feed. There are the new haircuts, first-day-of-school outfits, and sometimes a sign that proudly proclaims what grade they are in. I have even seen the handiwork of some incredibly motivated mothers who have gone on school grounds, chalk in hand, to create some dazzling first-day-of-school artwork. I, myself have been that Pinterest-y.
Of course now with the COVID situation the picture this year could also include a face mask, gloves, a bottle of sanitizer, and a sign warning others to stay 6 feet away. Or it might even be a photo of them at the computer waiting to log in to see their teacher and class virtually. Either way, I am hoping this trend continues, even in a pandemic.
Why? Because there is nothing is like the first day of school pic.
Like many parents I have documented my daughter’s first days ever since kindergarten, albeit without chalk or a fancy sign. Like I said, just not that Pinterest-y. It has been awesome to see how much she has grown, both in height, ability, and attitude. To my delight the high school pics have gotten weirder and weirder, with a thrill-of-the-hunt kind of appeal. See below.
Sometimes you just have to catch them in the act!
When I started my very first semester of college I thought, why not me? Why shouldn’t I take a first day of school picture? Wasn't it my first day too? Isn't this something of which I should be proud? After all, this has been over twenty years in the making!
So, on the first day of my very first college semester at Estrella Mountain Community College I proudly took my place in the driveway, book bag in hand to get that all important start of school picture. No chalk, no sign, and certainly no bad attitude (I am not a moody teen anymore) Just me grinning ear-to-ear because I get to do something I had only dreamed about. Poetically it was my daughter who snapped the photo. Justice I suppose for all those I had taken of her.
I even did it on my first day of my first at Arizona State University!
But as far as I am concerned, everyone should take a first day of school picture. Stay-at-home moms and dads, working moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, and anyone else who has dealt with the fallout of this pandemic. Even before COVID, summers usually consisted of “I’m bored” “We don’t ever do anything” and “Can I eat the entire contents of the frig for lunch?” It’s these warriors that need their battle documented! Wear your scars proudly, and wave your victory flag high! You are doing it!
After all, it’s you that is helping to make it all happen. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Keeping a schedule. Being the IT guy (or gal.) Moral support for when the going gets tough in algebra or providing that all-too-crucial second set of eyes on an English paper. In that vein, I suppose I should have have my husband take a picture with me too because god knows he has been taking the brunt of my frazzled, why-does-math-suck-so-bad, oh-my-god-this-paper-is-due-today, madness.
The first day of school pic isn't just for the pre-schoolers, the middle schoolers or the hormonal, irritable teens, it's for the rest of us too.
So regardless of whether your child is attending school in a classroom or right next to you at the kitchen table take that photo! Not just of them but you too, with your yoga pants, power suit, jeans or pajamas. You deserve it...now more than ever!