I Can Smile at the Old Days. I Was Beautiful Then. And a Better Mom.

When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not. ~ Mark Twain

It’s picture day tomorrow.  Dimples is 10.  This is her last year in elementary school.  Her last class picture with less than 200 people in it.  I get it.  I should buy the picture.  However, she brought home four order forms.

“What’s this?”

“For clubs.  We have to do a separate order form for each club.”

There are four clubs taking pictures.  Dimples is in three of them, in case you have not done the math.

Each picture costs approximately $500.

Just kidding.  But, they are relatively expensive.  Especially for someone who just had to pay to recover data from her not-dead-yet hard drive.

“So, I’m just wondering.  Do you know where last year’s class picture is?” I asked.

“Oh, we didn’t get one last year,” she quickly responded.

“Yes, we did.  What about the one for the year before that?”

“Oh, we haven’t bought any for the last couple of years.”

“Yes, we have.  I’ve bought one every year.”

“Well, where are they?”

“That’s what I asked you.  But since you obviously don’t know, I will tell you.  They are in a file drawer.”

“Well, why are they there?”

“Because every year, you toss them at me, and I stick them in the drawer.  And you never think about it again.”

“But we should hang them up!”

“Really?  This is what we should display on our walls?  Photos in which 5 years from now we will be able to identify 1/28th of the people represented?”

“Well, we should put them somewhere.”

“I’m not hanging them in the hallway, and I’m not paying for 4 more pictures to stick in my drawer.”  Even though I just lost your whole lifetime of pictures when my hard drive bit the dust.  But let’s not dwell on the past.  Or the complete absence of it.


Later on, she informed me that she was willing to deal.  One club picture and the class picture.

I think there’s enough room in the drawer for them.


In a couple of years, I could probably pass this off as her class picture. She won’t know the difference, right?
photo credit: hseikaly via photopin cc


Posted on January 9, 2013, in Children, Family, Humor, Memory Loss, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 136 Comments.

  1. You can imagine the stockpile of photos I have with 4 kids. I have a file box full of school photos, school “awards” and yearbooks we “need”. Right. Oh well, at least I got it down to one box.

  2. I never buy school pictures. Because they always end up tucked away, and they breed like bunnies in dark places.

  3. Miranda Gargasz

    Only in the 80’s did kid clothes look like PJ’s. Lord have mercy, 1986 was a particularly bad fashion year.

  4. i know exactly where all my kids school photos are. in a file that sits in a cool stackable file thingie right by the phone in the kitchen….because i am too lazy to hang the damn things. instead of paying to buy the photos – i’d rather pay to have someone come over and hang the framed photos up on my walls. how ’bout that??? and don’t even get me started on elementary yearbooks. WTH? when the kids started asking for those bazillion dollar things i was like – wait, let’s do the math. you are four kids, so that’s 13 x 4 books at $20 a book??? i think that’s over $1,000??? plus we live in the tiniest house in san antonio. where will we put them???

    • I feel the exact same way about elementary year books. They actually banned them a couple of years ago in our district, and I was so glad. You’ve got to have something to look forward to in high school.

  5. I get one yearbook for my two kids. I figure everyone in the class is in the yearbook, right? But I can honestly say my kids look at those stupid yearbooks all the time! Like they don’t see those kids enough. Weird.

    • We don’t have yearbooks in elementary school any more. I was glad when they banned them, but it would cost me less to buy one yearbook than to buy a picture for each club she is in. I do scrapbook, but I’m a bit behind – I haven’t even made it to her elementary school years.

  6. My mom insisted on getting those pictures and I have no idea why. They sit in a page protector in my school book where you cannot see them. I don’t look at them nor do I care to.

  7. yes they do get shoved in a drawer or case or box…but many years later when they are married with children of their own, not only will you enjoy looking back but you will also enjoy showing your grandkids what their mom looked like when she was only a little girl.A lot of moneyfor a photo in school but worth every cent

  8. Oh, yes. You definitely want to buy them and store them. One day, one of those kids is going to be famous/infamous and you can sell that photo to a tabloid for enough money to take yourself out for a fine fancy dinner. …or I guess you could just invest the money spent on the pictures and in time the interest alone will pay for your fine fancy dinner. I guess it’s your call!

  9. I don’t think I have any of my class pictures. They’re probably in a year book that I lost years ago… So much for photos. They say digital is where it’s all at, but once you have hard drive issues that goes down the crapper too (as you well know)!

    Hey, but just think that some day when Dimples comes home from college with a new beau, you’ll be able to dig out all those class pictures finally and share them with pride! Maybe you should just warn her of that right now. 😉

  10. Chancy and Mumsy (Mag)

    I bought a few of the kids school pictures over the years but never hung them. They went in albums. Now that the kids are grown I asked them if they wanted their school pictures…no takers so they are still here in those albums.

  11. I always buy the school pictures and forget to hand any of the wallets out to family. They are in a drawer in a remote cabinet in the basement. Maybe someday (probably not) I will put them in photo albums. But, I am sure they will still be in my basement!

  12. Congrats on being FP’d! I look forward to reading more. :>

  13. My daughter doodled all over her elementary yearbook and just as I was tempted to declare it “ruined” I realized it was more importantly “used.” My yearbooks are entirely forgotten, but hers are snapshots not only of classmates, but of her personality – a time capsule of a little girl editing a neatly arranged gathering of memories. What ever you order, I can only recommend gifting those images immediately rather than saving them to be forgotten.

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  14. I have to tell you when I last looked at my school pictures, I could remember every kid in all of my classes–not all their names, but their personalities. Mine stayed in a box for a decade as well. They aren’t for looking at now. They are for looking at when you’re grown.

    When all of our photos are digital, we will never have pictures to show the grandkids again. We won’t look at them for 20 years, and won’t migrate them to new software as it changes, and then when we want to look at them again, nothing will be available to open the files with. There will also be several billion of them to sort through. Even the careful preserver of memories will be too overwhelmed to maintain the chosen few. It’s a shame.

  15. I tried to give my boys all their class pictures and other assorted things I was sure they would want some day. I even moved that crap 1500 miles because there didn’t seem to be enough time to sort and distribute before the move. Their comment? “Why would I want that stuff?”

  16. Mine are very organized on a shelf. After Kindergarten, I went back to work and ran out of time. I’ve been trying to make some for seven years…. I love your voice. I’ll be following.

  17. Berry Hill School?! Looks just like my picture fro TV Summers! For a fraction of today’s photos.

  18. Except for one photo albumn, I have no childhood pictures. My mom was too Irish to treasure them and my father is too Cuban to care about anything ther than himself. I would love to have more, but kudos to you for keeping them. She may not appreciate yet, but I know I would.

  19. You can always try being cheeky and ask a friend to borrow their photo and take a copy. It doesn’t matter so much then if you happen to ‘lose’ it once the interest in it has waned.

    I agree with K8edid comment above also having recently been presented with all of my husband’s school stuff. After the initial surprise and piqued interest he really is not wanting to keep any of it, so I do wonder on reflection for whose benefit, we as parents go about collecting these memories for really.

  20. Hey Great post! I love that Mark Twain quote.

  21. My daughter’s class picture survived the washing machine last year. Now it sits on top of the dryer.

  22. I recently got a box with all the photos from my childhood. I never saw them after I brought them home from school. To my surprise, one photo was taken out of each photo set and copies were made. It seems to odd to me yet, so beautiful.

  23. A good read the second time around. Congrats on FP!!

  24. Haha, and i thought it was only my mother who felt this way, great post! I think i have one from my first year at school aged 4, and another aged 13, and happy to say there’s no guilt/blame on either side :)!

  25. So, which one is she? Nice post. It made me smile and made me remember (except for the part about the partly crashed hard drive).

  26. BRILLANT. I could write more but I’m in the midst of a should I/shouldn’t I crisis.

  27. Hello There,
    I was Just hoping that you could take a few minutes out of your day and check my blog out and leave some constructive criticism on things that i am doing right and things that i am doing wrong it will be much appreciated

    Thank You For Giving Me A Chance

  28. Great effort, I like your post! My name is Carlos, if you ever want to know about “Surfski Paddling” I invite you to visit my blog, the season is about to start!!. Regards.

  29. Thank you for guieting my guilt over class pics. My friend has an entire wall of her two children, every individual and class picture. She doesn’t know I hate it. On a different note how do I get a separate widget like you have for comments, so readers don’t have scroll?

  30. I have ten grand children yet I still have tons of class photos of their parents.

  31. We invested in the smallest package available. When senior pictures came along, I was prepared to answer the inevitable “what about the grandparents” question with – “all except one are dead.” Which was true, and caused a lull in the sales pitch.

  32. It would be great in this day and age if you could just pay a couple of bucks for a jpg file to be emailed to you. Then you could just file it on your computer. Never to be seen again.

  33. I’ve just made a photobook of highlights of my middle daughter’s life, to mark her recent 40th. I found a few class photos which I scanned and included. So glad I’d kept at least some of them. The really odd thing is this – there you are, 3,500 miles away from where I am (UK), and the class picture you show is virtually interchangeable. Same pose, same collection of fidgety little kids, teacher standing top right, even the placard in the front, giving the details. It was taken 10 years later than mine but still the likeness is uncanny. Love it!

    • That is hilarious that they are so similar. That is a great idea to make a photo book and scan the class pictures. I’m going to file that suggestion away in my mental file drawer 🙂

  34. Find your parent, what a great game idea!

  35. So funny and very true. All of my old school pictures are hidden in shame. They are hidden even from myself!

  36. 50 years later they’ll post the pic on facebook and their friends will have some fun with it for a week. At least that’s my experience. 😉

  37. Too funny! It is interesting how these pictures keep popping up on today’s facebook. I wondered what will be for us in 50 years. I bet it won’t be facebook!

  38. I guess it may vary from district to district. We always get a small package of the Kidling’s pictures… they don’t do class pictures where we are now, but the two years we were in the UK, they did, and she loves to look at them occasionally and wonder what her old UK friends are doing. Same for year books. They are for sharing memories of your childhood with your children or grandchildren many years down the line… or for reminiscing with OLD friends when you are all old and grey and need the hints!

  39. Makes me think about all these digital files living on my computer that will die when my hard drive goes. Prints are a special thing!

  40. I just came across some of my old class pictures. They are good for a little laugh every 5 years, but that’s about it! Not worth the $1,000, or whatever

  41. …but imagine the fun 20…30…40…50… years later when you have the class pictures and can spot familiar faces…and then find them and interact with them on Facebook. Priceless! It’s happened for me, and it’s great fun!

  42. “Each picture costs approximately $500.

    Just kidding.”

    My kind of humour, nearly spat my tea out. 🙂

  43. It’s highway robbery.

  44. Is this your 2nd time on FP? Cool! It’s the same dilemma with sports team pictures…

  45. Why don’t they provide school photos electronically these days?

  46. I’ve tried to burn all my old stuff but it won’t even burn.

  47. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  48. This is cute. I remember in elementary school always wanting pictures, but then when I got to high school, I only wanted my senior class picture. Now, my class graduated with 58 kids, so it wasn’t that large, but once we get older…..we realize how to weigh the importance of memories. Those same pictures she wants now will be the ones she begs you not to torture her with on her wedding day. I applaud you for the compromise. Good Blog 🙂

  49. I still have all of my school pictures. I must admit, they are hidden away in a draw somewhere, but I do pull them out to have a look every now and then, and to wonder where everyone has gotten to in life…

  50. It all depends on the person.

    My class pics are in a personal photo album.

    I still have it. I can still name almost every kid.

    To a child, those moments are huge.

    My wife is still has best friends from elementary school.

    We’re actually going to one of their parties tonight …

    and now our kids are best friends.

    You never know …

  51. Sounds like the gazillion pictures I have on my computer that I never print anymore.

  52. Mother of 4, Oldest being 21 youngest 15… Pictures awards report cards galore… all of which has taken up residency in the depths of my ‘bottomless’ closet. Every once in a while we dive into past school photos, it’s fun to ‘look back’ on their childhood, listening to them remember certain events teachers and or friends.

  53. That was an excellent post today. Thanks so much for sharing it. I
    really enjoyed reading it very much. You have a wonderful day!

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