So you must have seen all those posts on Facebook taking the micky out of first day back at school photos. I did and scrolled past them and dismissed them as silly.
But then I noticed that my friends where apologising profusely for putting their photos on Facebook and I got a bit cross – because they shouldn’t have to apologise. It is wrong that people are embarrassed or were stopped from sharing their photos. And these are the reasons why…
- The first day back at school is the only day of the year that our children look half decent!!! The photo represents what we thought our children would look like before we had children. They look all clean and shiny and new. The rest of the year any photo we take of our children will show what they really dress like – hoodies over their face, or the joyous mismatched creations of preteens or the completely inappropriate over made up looks from the teens. And we know that by that afternoon of the first day back at school, the shirts will be stained, the trousers will be ripped, the ties loosened and the blazer jackets sleeves will be rolled up and creased permanently. This first day is the culmination of running around all summer buying new uniforms, shoes, book bags, lunch bags, pens, pencils etc. We know that every item they own is labelled within an inch of its life. This is a celebratory moment and should not be denied us.
- Facebook is a communication tool. The people that are our friends on Facebook, are there because we like them and/or they are family. Therefore, we must assume that they care about us and want to see our first day back at school photo. If they don’t, well they can just scroll past. I know that if someone is my friend – I want to look at their photos -even if I am going to see them that afternoon at the school gate.
- THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON. First day back at school photos are not a celebration of the children – you might think that if you aren’t a parent, but NO!! They are a celebration of us as Mothers (And yes Fathers too!). Why may you ask? These photos celebrate the fact that we survived the Summer School Holidays and do not think this is a small achievement, because it’s not. We have juggled working with childcare, we have protected our food cupboards from ravenous hordes that seem to graze all day. We have listened to the loud and very annoying children’s TV repeating itself over and over and over for six weeks. We have conquered the “I’m Bored!” statement numerous times each day. We have managed entertaining days out and bought a whole wardrobe of new uniforms with no extra money coming in. We have picked up, cleaned up, washed up, and dried up multiply times a day. And we have survived.
Now some of my friends are probably thinking – but we didn’t see a photo from you this year? Well I tried. But Baby Girl didn’t want to go to school and was scowling and refusing to look at the camera. And Complicated Boy, didn’t start till later that day and he got up so quick and left the house straight away – I missed it!! So here is photo of a week into the new school year – both look slightly grubby. Sigh.
So please, next year, people, please post your photos. Celebrate the fact that you managed to get through the holidays and were able to produce shining examples of what children are meant to look like – even if it’s only for those 10 minutes that it takes to take the photo.