Hello Weirdness

Our family does the traditional “first day of school” pose each year. I think it’s a form of self-torture for parents, who remember their kids as the cute munchkins they sent off to first grade long after they’ve become grumpy teens, but we do it anyway. It’s a compulsion.

My daughter always gets her picture first. I guess this is a holdover from the two years she was in school and my son was not, but it’s the prime spot and it will never be yielded 1. She is an expressive goof with a tendency to anxiousness, which is from whence the expressive goofiness springs 2. Her distinct personality makes her an excellent actress, talented artist, and gifted writer. As a tortured creative, when it’s time for photos she tends to express herself with goofball poses which allow her to flash her very charming smile. After several of these I get annoyed and finally get a “real” pose 3.

First day of school, posing the wrong directionThen it’s my son’s turn. Typically he stands on the stoop and gives a goofy smile as he submits to the rigors of the camera. My son, however, is also prone to nervousness and deep internal thoughts for which he cannot find words. He also perceives things in ways which often leave him feeling frustrated with many of his peers [^Kid]. Watching him is sometimes like looking in a mirror. Except for one thing – I think he’s smarter than me. He’s certainly more clever.

How do I know this? Well, when I called him to come forward for his pose this year he decided must have decided he’d never be able to compete with the “charming goofball” skills of his sister, and so decided to change the game. He stepped up on the stoop, and never turned around. He didn’t giggle or laugh. In fact, he didn’t highlight it at all. He waited patiently until I pointed out, “Hey, can you turn around now?” Upon my request, he turned around and said nothing. He simply struck a “real” pose and waited for his sister to join him for the group shot. His brain came up with that idea on the fly, and was able to play it through to completion without having to resort to a “hey look at me!” moment. Minds like that scare me, especially now that his vocabulary is beginning to match his philosophical bent.

Both my children are weird, and I adore them 2.


  1. “Never” is in a couple of years, when she departs for college. Again, parental self-torture. 
  2. So nothing like me as an adult, then. Also, did I use “whence” correctly? 
  3. Getting a “real” pose is in the parental contract, somewhere. 

3 Comments

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  1. When we are young we are anxious to grow older but as we the “grown ops” get older, we try to stay young. First day of school year is a mile stone.

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  2. Your son is fabulous!!!!

  3. Poor Jen. She has to put up with three goofballs .it’s. a good thing she knows how to work with ” children”

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