If you guess the first one, you would be correct. That is how they hooked me. They meaning professional school photographers.Take one good picture, then I'll be dumb enough to pay in advanced for years to come.
It started in Kindergarten, when the school sent home a flier for picture day with pose and background options, and an assortment of picture packages to choose from. The flier also stated: "All photos must be paid for in advance. Please send cash or check in the attached envelope with your child on picture day."
I remember thinking, "What? Pay for pictures before I see them, how stupid is that."
Reluctantly I ordered the pictures. And they turned out great! The first picture really does capture who he is. I didn't know it would be all downhill from there.
Now all I can do is try to suppress the disapproving mother in me that starts to surface when I open up his school pictures. I force a slight smile and look up at Rio...but I can't resist.
"Why did you smile like that?"
"The lady told me to." He said. "Do you like them?"
"Very nice." I said raising my eyebrows. I put the pictures back in the envelope and conveniently lost them in the office. I convinced myself that the next one would be better.
"Here mom." Rio handed me his school pictures.
"Rio! What kind of smile is that?" I asked, noticing all of his bottom teeth.
"She didn't like my mouth shut, she said to smile big and show teeth." He explained.
"Okay." Those also disappeared in the office.
What do you think I said. Well...not what I wanted.
"Mom, and you were worried about them combing our hair stupid." Amaya pointed out.
Who am I? I am the parent standing in the back of the PTA meeting pretending to care about such trivial issues. All while feeling this is a complete waste of time. Screaming inside my head, "You've got to be kidding me!" Has it really come to this? Don't bother to look around; you won't be able to figure out who I am. In fact blending in has become a survival skill that I am quite proud of. Standing in the back with my heart racing, afraid that my thoughts will somehow escape my mouth without my permission and I will be exposed. I will be exiled and everyone will think I am crazy. But from where I stand, crazy seems to be running the show these days. Speaking up is hard, voicing an opinion that you are conditioned to believe is unpopular, even harder.