I was going through pictures of my son the other
day, meaning I was thumb scrolling on my cell phone through a near
infinite collection of perfect portraits of his hands.
He hates getting his picture taken. I have exactly seven
blurry snapshots of his face: one is half obscured by his
Sasquat-chian paw, and the rest are tiny portraits dominated by the
inside of his mouth, the cover of a book, his shirt pulled over his
nose and a single unadulterated head shot in which it is painfully
obvious he's farting.
My only hope has been Picture Day. And as I am a
diligently organized parent with a smart phone, a computer, a
notebook, a day-timer and a watch, I never know it's Picture Day
until Sasquatch is getting out of the car whereupon he will lean
in, as if to say something sweet.
Imagine: framed in the window with the sun behind him like
a halo, his "Legalize It" T-shirt hanging in a stained, pouchy
slouch, a tiny smear of grape jelly trailing off toward his ear and
his unruly Aboriginal dome, and he says: "Oh yeah, it's Picture
Merde! Fantastic. I will add this new abomination to the
growing aggregation of legendary school portraits wherein Junior
I could scrapbook a 3-inch brick of Disney pictures of our
family smiling with the radiant intensity of an Osmond wedding and
in each of them will be a perfect picture of Connor's hand where
his head should be. He has perfected the spontaneous photo bomb. My
only clear picture of his face shows him slumped face first into
the couch, his nose bent sideways in a puddle of drool (I assume),
with the dog Frenching his ear.
I can only hope, as he enters high school, he will start
combing his hair and washing his face the morning of Picture Day
after discovering girls might want a picture of his actual face. I
mean, he's a good-looking kid. I think. I don't know; all I see is
Until that time, like every other parent of a teen boy, I
lurk in the living room until I hear snoring, tip toe into his
room, peel back his hideous mop, gaze into his face and think to
myself: yes, that's him, thank God.
Christopher lives in Chicago with his wife and kids and can also be found at deathbychildren.com.
See more of Christopher's stories here.
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