You know how it is on picture day- for school or sports-, you have gotten your kids all dressed up in a carefully chosen outfit, or made sure their uniform is on just right as you plan for the amazing flawless picture that is going to be taken. Yeah right! These may be plans only to be followed through in an unrealistic alternate reality. The truth is, pictures will inevitably be taken right after gym, so that hair and clothes are all askew; right after lunch; so that a bright glob of ketchup has landed right on the top of their shirt; or they may decide they just didn’t want to be there and refuse to crack anything close to a smile. Let me say that at the time, it is a bit frustrating; however, these are the pictures we remember the most. The ones that didn’t go as perfectly planned, but have a little something extra to remind you about whatever surprises that day had in store. We had such a day for my son’s baseball pictures this year.
We had a particularly rainy spring and everything was quite muddy. My son’s favorite thing to do at the ball park during his sister’s games is to play in the creek- which was muddy all around. His sister happened to have a game right before his pictures, so he had to spend the game behaving in his picture ready ball uniform. I was busy watching the game, and missed him sneaking off to throw rocks in the creek. A few minutes later he returned with mud covering the upper portion of of his legs, his stomach, arms and hands. I distinctly remembered telling him to avoid the mud, which he claimed to have done- leaving the mud coverage a complete mystery! I think I hid my frustration pretty well, just calmly telling him he would be muddy for his pictures (which would frustrate my preppy little man), while boiling inside. He wanted me to go home and get different pants and try to wipe of the mud smearing… not happening! So, he was posed in such a way that the mud wasn’t quite as noticeable, but he took his picture covered in mud. It wasn’t the end of the world, and the picture wasn’t ruined. No, it is now that picture we can look back on and say “Wow, it rained a ton that season! Do you remember getting covered in mud right before pictures? That was kind of funny, but it sure was great getting to spend so much time with you coaching your team that year.” My lesson- sometimes blessings come from things most unexpected, such as a muddy baseball picture.