Yesterday my daughter came home with her first school pictures. I remember how fun it was as a kid to get those pictures and then share them with parents and grandparents and even great grandparents, friends and aunts and uncles. When you get your little package at school the first thing you do is analyze the picture. Are you smiling? Are your clothes straight? Is your hair just right? Is there a booger hanging out? :-) There is a lot that has to go right!
Well for my little kindergartner, these pictures brought disappointment. At least at first. She bounced into my car yesterday afternoon and the first thing she did was take out these pictures and point to the blaring red eye in her picture. Picture day happened to land smack in the middle of a terrible eye infection. In fact, the infection lasted almost two months and is finally gone due to antibiotics. Her eye, red and shiny from the first medication we attempted, stuck out in the picture and matched the red shirt she had chosen for picture day. She was also disappointed that she didn't smile.
I wish I could say that I reacted perfectly right away. That I immediately made a big deal about how much I loved the picture just because it was her. I was sad for her and wanted to make her feel better and told her that we could see if we could get retakes. The rest of the afternoon, weather it was due to the photo fiasco or not, she was a little monster. She spent the entire afternoon being nasty to her little sister and to me. Well it took me all night (and a reminder from my husband) to figure out that I really needed to focus on helping her realize that what is important is that it is her, not the eye or the smile, in the picture that I love. So this morning I told her that I Love the picture because it reminds me of how strong and brave she has been to go to school even when she wasn't feeling great. Whew! Almost missed that opportunity to build up what is important in her and remind her that It's what is on the inside that counts! Why can't these things come to my mind right away, instead of hours later?