First Day of School: Fourth Grade!

First day of school pics have become ubiquitous in the world of social media. Whatever did we do before pre-printed grade signs and frantic, front porch photo sessions? Me — being me — I like to add a list of superlatives to further document this moment each year. It’s my version of the annoying holiday newsletter.

But lest you think I’m only showing the best, brightest and Photoshoppyest version of my so-called parenting life, here’s a little back story on this year’s more-chaotic-than-usual first day of school photo.

First Day of Fourth Grade

First Day of Fourth Grade: Behind the Photo

The sling. Sunday night Jon was playing on a zip line in a friend’s backyard. It was dark, he was going too fast, and when he hit the spring at the end, it jarred his grip loose, sending him ass over teakettle into the tree at the end. While it could have been a lot worse, it did require a late night trip to urgent care, some x-rays and the aforementioned sling.

The pink hair. It’s mostly blond now, but my son’s hair was a vibrant hot pink earlier in the summer. The dye bleached out in the pool, and left my crimson-topped kiddo with a surfer ‘do that I totally would have rocked in high school. Not coincidentally, pink is his favorite color — which has me tickled, well, you know.

The uneven socks. I din’t notice until I started writing this post, and now it’s all I can see.

The morning in general. It’s a wonder the photo got taken at all. Due to my son’s injury and DEFCON-1 level excitement for school, he didn’t get to sleep until after midnight the night before. Which means I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight. I’ll admit I enjoyed putting my nurturing hat back on for a couple of hours, stroking his hair as he used my leg as a pillow for his sprained arm. But it sure did put a dent in our energy the next morning.

Thus on the morning of the first day of fourth grade, we had a kid that needed to sleep late. Which meant doing a lot more than usual in a much shorter amount of time. Plus an injury that required help with dressing, packing up, and carrying books and school supplies all the way into class. And did I mention that some long-planned construction finally started that morning? In the midst of all the normal first day of school chaos, combined with an overslept, injured kid, there was also a team of contractors emptying our living room of furniture, taping up sheets of protective plastic and drilling holes in the wall.

Capturing the Moment

Yet amidst all the noisy, messy, sprainy, sleepy, saggy-socked chaos, I still managed to take a quick photo. I’m nowhere near a perfect parent, but I do know moments like these are few, far-between, and zoom past much too quickly. That’s why I force my kid (and husband) to take annoying photos. That’s why I write this blog.

How do you capture the important moments in your life?

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Blasts From the Past

For comparison and posterity, here are first day photos from grades K-3.

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