Sunday, September 30, 2007

Picture Day

Who loves picture day? Parents, that's who! Parents who are not actually AT picture day, because they imagine only the moment of the snap and flash of the camera, not the actual trek down the hall, attempting to keep the little cherubs lined up quietly, looking their adorable best, every hair in place. All the outfits carefully chosen, all evidence of dirt and colored markers absent from pink cheeks.

In actuality, it's quite a different scenario. ESPECIALLY with a group of autistic children, some of whom have huge difficulty entering strange rooms, like a school gymnasium, where a pin drop sounds like a huge gong, so forty children, some of whom scream when they feel anxious, sounds like a Super Fast Train whistle blowing directly into your eardrums.

But you know what? They did it! They all, well, almost all, sat down for the group picture (one sweetie couldn't be persuaded to enter the room), and they all managed to smile for the camera and sit still while the photographer snapped away. They even got in line AGAIN to sit for the individual pictures, and while some of them had to have a bit of help to stand or sit in one place, we all survived. They were amazing, all of them troupers, and we were all so proud of them. And now, picture day is over, until the spring, when we get to do it all again.

Now, as a mom, I get to look forward to Joe-Henry's picture day, which is this coming Tuesday. He asked if he could wear his tuxedo that he wore for his cousin's wedding last April, and when I told him we had actually returned that after the wedding, he asked if we could buy one. I took him out shopping yesterday, getting him to agree to a shirt and tie, paired with an almost too small sport jacket. Yes, I know he'll look like the youngest banker ever, but that's what he really wants to wear. It just makes me giggle - his dad wears a kilt, his mom wears jeans, and his favorite thing to wear makes him look like Alex P. Keaton. I let him wear it all afternoon, making him take it off only to play baseball with the kids next door. He complied, but only after saying a hundred times "but mom, I look so HANDSOME!!" I told him that baseball players only wear a tie post-game, but they would never slide into home in a sport coat. Geez. If he wants to rebel in later years, all he needs to do is join The Young Republicans. As long as he doesn't become a lobbyist for Big Tobacco.

I'll try to keep him out of it for a couple days so we can keep it clean for Tuesday. He'll be all spic-n-span, hair just so, face shiny and clean. All his little classmates lined up, eager but quiet as mice, opening their mouths only when instructed to say "Cheese!".

I can just picture it!


suttonhoo said...

your boy always leaves me breathless. I have such a crush. :)

Lolabola said...

ooh a crush! that's so true

Kimberly said...

Great story, I was sitting here nodding my head as you described some of the behaviour the kids displayed and thought the only thing left out of course since this is school is the parent bribing the child with whatever it is that will get you one small smile and you had damn well better be quick about it.

Mikayla loves to play at the picture store but when it comes to standing, sitting, posing she gives you the are you crazy look and dares the camera-person to come within 2 feet of her personal space. If you dare to venture close enough the tears start then the screaming and crying and then she will politely leave you there looking over her shoulder one last time with a "go to hell" look on her face at which time I do the 100 yard dash in 10 seconds flat to try to catch her.

So you see picture day is not something I enjoy now or probably ever unless I don't have to be there to witness what takes place to get the crooked smiling hairtossed picture that shows me what love and beauty lies beneath the surface of this truly wonderful but socially challenged child of mine.

P.S. Can't wait to see Joe Henry in his "Alex P. Keaton" outfit. So cute just thinking about it.