please smile…


“Lift your chin, turn your head to the right, look at me…  smile,” the photographer said to the boy. “C’mon, you can smile better than that…” She playfully proposed. “Bay, please not your wild eyes…” I said immediately after he opened his eyes as wide as he could and put on his most devilish grin. Giggling to himself, he thankfully re-composed himself, did as he was told and then waited for her to take his picture.  “What do you think Mom?” The photographer asked as she scrolled through the ten or so pictures taken of my boy. “These look fine, thank you,” I said which prompted the boy to happily exit the room and change out of his “monkey” suit.  In a span of twenty minutes, what took about a week to prepare for was thankfully behind us.


Monday night, the boy and I walked down to my dads, in hopes for finding a suit coat to wear for his Senior class picture. “I can’t believe I fit into Grandpa’s clothing,” the boy remarked. “Just be thankful you do…” I said happy no suit coat expense (or shopping with my son) was in our near future.

Tuesday night the boy and I took a quick trip to get his hair cut. “Listen, he has Senior pictures on Thursday, so basically I want him cleaned up–made to look like he got his hair cut two weeks ago…” I explained. “Oh and while you’re at it, could you clean up the fuzzes?” The boy asked pointing to his face and neck.

Wednesday night, I picked up a tie from my sister’s house, and made the boy try everything on again, to make sure he looked good. “Mom, I don’t have a good pair of dress pants for this photo…” The boy announced. “So long as you have a good pair of shorts on, you’ll be fine,” I said before explaining we really only needed a picture from his chest up.

Thursday morning, using his most frustrated tone the boy asked “Mom, isn’t the (beard) trim I had on Tuesday good enough? I hate to shave!!” “Bay, you have an albeit small, five o’clock shadow.  So no the trim was not good enough, please go shave!” I returned. A few minutes later he entered the kitchen and said, “I tried, but it didn’t work”. “What didn’t work?” I asked. ‘Hello, the razor?” “What do you mean it didn’t work?” I asked and made a bee line to the upstairs bathroom to determine why the razor would’t work. But when I entered the room, there was no razor in sight.  “Where’s the razor?” I asked. “Right there,” the boy said pointing to my husband’s hair clippers. “Bay, this isn’t a razor, it’s hair clippers…” I replied. “So, same difference right?” “NO, one’s for the hair atop your head and one is for the hair on your face”.

Where’s you’re razor?” I asked. “I don’t know…” he replied. “What do you mean you don’t know? By any chance is it in your toiletry bag?” I asked as we made our way downstairs to retrieve his razor. A few minutes later, razor in hand, he began again. In the meantime, I saw the opportunity to take a quick shower and did so, except when I came downstairs ready to go, the boy announced, “It’s not the best shave and I refuse to use the razor any more, my face hurts and I don’t give a ____ about these dumb pictures”. “Baaaayyy, come with me…” I insisted. Entering the upstairs bathroom, I grabbed my face cream and began smearing it all over his face. “Mom, this is gross!” He announced. “Not anymore gross than you not washing your face for days on end. Dude, this puts moisture back into your skin. I put this on every morning and sometimes in the evening too. It’ll make your face feel better,” I tried to convince.

I wish we didn’t have to do this. I think this is the dumbest thing a Senior has to do!” He said, when I finished. “Bay it’s a rite of passage; your entrance into adulthood,” I returned. “This is the dumbest, most unimportant thing. How is my taking a good picture for the yearbook going to get me into college?” He asked. “Senior pictures have nothing to do with college and everything with being remembered well in years to come,” I replied. “I have two letters for that explanation mom, B and S…” He said.  “Fine, whatever, but for once, when the photographer asks you to smile, please do so…” I begged as we left for the appointment.



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