I was totally unprepared for picture day at Tyler's school this year. Gone are the days where I would scour Gymboree.com for the perfect outfit for back to school and photos. His Dad dressed him that morning while Max and I still slept. When I picked Tyler up at school I was a tad horrified at what he was wearing - high water sweatpants with holes in the knees and a Mario Bros tee-shirt. At least the shirt was relatively new and school photos are only chest/face shots. But still...
I moaned at Tyler, "Oh lordy, look how you are dressed. Did you get your picture taken today?" He frowned and said yes and asked what was wrong with how he was dressed. How do I explain the significance of school picture day? I told him about when I was a kid and how it was a HUGE deal to get your class photo done. Clothes had to be just perfect...heck, the photographers even gave away a free plastic hair comb (anyone remember that?)
Tyler asked, "Why? What was the big deal???"
I thought about that. What WAS the big deal? Then it hit me. "Tyler, when I was a kid the digital camera didn't exist. Good film cameras were expensive to buy and even more expense to keep loaded with film. Do you know what film is?" He thought about it and remembered my old point and shoot 35mm and the little film canisters. "Right. Each one of those film rolls could hold around 24 or 36 photos. TOTAL. Do you know how many pictures Mommy can take with her nice digital camera? Over 2000. And I don't have to pay someone to develop film and then pay more for prints of my photos. I can just unload my digital pictures onto my computer."
But that still wasn't completely the point. He gave me a so-what shrug and I continued. "Back when I was a kid a lot of parents didn't have practice taking good photos. Or they didn't have a camera - remember how expensive they were and how it cost even more to get the photos developed and printed? Well...when school photo time came around, those were often the ONLY nice pictures the parents would have of their kids for the whole year! So it was really important that they come out well. Understand now?"
I could see the light bulb go on in his brain as the knowledge sank in. "Wow Mom, the only pictures for the WHOLE YEAR?! Too bad I don't have that problem. You have your camera in my face ALL THE TIME!"
I shook my head with a laugh and groan. Then Tyler smiled and said, "It's ok Mom. I know you take my picture so much because you love me."