It’s easy to overlook life’s everyday conveniences, isn’t it? We can illuminate a room with the flip of a switch, take a shower with the turn of a knob, and have face-to-face conversations with people around the world. We can also break-and-bake our way to cookies that taste just like homemade—11 to 13 minutes in a preheated oven—and no one needs to be the wiser. No doubt we’re living in the lap of luxury. [Read more…]
It was New Year’s Day, and the two of us were headed to my parents to ring it in with the traditional chocolate fondue. At this point in the holiday season, we’d all eaten enough chocolate/sugar/junk food to re-sink the Titanic, so what’s one more day, right?
Except I really wasn’t in the mood. In fact, I had no desire to leave the house. It was 10 degrees in the sun with a wind chill of -10. Weather fit for neither man nor beast. And I’d had my fill, which was obvious by my rant, which was in full swing.
“This,” I said as I exhaled a cloud of near-frozen fog, “is why I can’t get back to Florida fast enough.” [Read more…]
I overheard a couple of women talking about their kids while standing in the checkout line the other day. One of them pulled out a small photo album to show off pictures of her new granddaughter and family. While they ooh’d and ahhh’d and isn’t-she-the-cutest, a few things occurred to me:
A. I cant remember the last time I carried physical photos with me.
B. We didn’t even get the school photos ordered this year.
C. It’s probably a good thing Colton is self-sufficient.
Now before you start wagging your finger at me, accusing me of shirking my duties as a mother, it’s not my fault. (Spoken like a guilty child.)
Really, it isn’t! Because I filled out the order form and handed it to Colton, who put it in his backpack. Which was his first mistake. Have you seen the inside of his backpack? Not to mention that on the teenage guy’s ladder of importance, ordering school pictures ranks right up there with selfies with Mom. In fact—and no offense to the fine people who take school photos each year—school photos could arguably be worse.
At least most school photographers send proofs these days. When I was in school, we ordered them sight unseen, which was often how we wished they’d have remained. Unseen. These days, kids get picture proofs with a couple of poses, although the difference between pose one and pose two requires a magnifier. But at least we see the photos beforehand, and know whether or not to schedule picture re-take day before setting fire to the proofs.
Then there are the order forms. There’s really no such thing as a small package, to include any number of gift wallets (carried in the pocketbooks of mothers whose children turn in the order form) and exchange wallets, for swapping photos with classmates.
Which brings me to a couple more questions:
1. Does anyone manufacture those clear plastic photo sleeves for the model mothers anymore?
2. Do the photographers know of any teenagers who exchange photos with classmates?
For most parents and students alike, our photos—and faces—are scattered all over social media, sometimes accentuated with duck lips, much to my personal dismay. And lucky us. We can access those photos, duck lips and all, 24/7. How can the awkward school photo, complete with the seasick blue background, compete with duck lips?
I don’t think it can.
And I’ll admit it: the coming reality saddens me. Because there’s something special about that annual school photo. Or maybe I’m a bit nostalgic for the days of my own youth. If those warts-and-all two-dimensional snapshots sans the luxury of a do-over or a delete button were good enough for us, shouldn’t they be good enough for this generation? (It’s a rhetorical question. We both know it’s best if you don’t answer that one.)
At least I have the 1-inch proofs from this year’s photos to hold onto. Luckily, they were attached to the order form. And while we may not have frame-able school photos this year, we will have plenty of selfies. Because in exchange for forgetting to turn in the school photo order, Colton has agreed to an unlimited number of Mom-and-Son selfies between now and the next school pictures day. He drew the line at duck lips, though. And I wholeheartedly concurred, proving that although I may not carry around real photos in my purse, I’m clearly doing something right.
Is something wrong?
“You scared me when you texted me, today. I just want you to know that.”
Those were the first words my teenager said the other day as he walked in the door from school.
It seems I’d breached unspoken (and to my knowledge nonexistent) rules in the parent-child texting code of conduct manual.
That’s right. I’d sent an unsolicited text to check in with my 16-year-old during school hours.
It wasn’t a big deal. Really, it wasn’t. I just wanted to let him know I was thinking about him and see how his day was going.
Is that so wrong?
To hear him tell it, yes. Apparently, once those size 12 shoes step onto school grounds, his cell phone becomes nothing more than added weight in his pocket, a nuisance of the modern technological age, existing only for the purposes of reaching me in the most extreme circumstances.
To hear him tell it, there he was, minding his own business, studying his little heart out when unexpected text from his mother ruined everything.
Here’s what I find interesting, though. What’s good for the goose is not so fantastic for the gander, because this is the same teenager who doesn’t hesitate to send texts to me throughout the day, throwing off my concentration with earth-shattering requests like:
“Can you put lunch money in my account?”
“Can you pick up some snacks if you go to the store?”
Or one of my favorites: “Can you pick me up early since we aren’t doing anything in this class?”
But text him about how his day is going and the whole student body gasps in shock, and someone calls the local news station, who runs with the story:
School counselors available to students after mother sends thoughtful text to son.
(Thoughtful was my word.)
The whole episode was mildly amusing until I received a middle-of-the-afternoon text a few days later from my dad, who was just checking in to see how my day was going.
“That’s random,” I thought. “He never texts at this time of day. I hope nothing’s wrong.”
With that, I wrote a note to myself to make an extra copy of parent-child texting code of conduct manual. Apparently Dad doesn’t have a copy, either.