The photographer's assistant placed the class in two lines and had them face the white draped background and large camera. They watched their classmates go up one at a time and for the annual spring pictures.
Excitement was running high. Fourth graders become very self-conscious about their looks, especially when it is captured for all to see in a photo. The line moved forward slowly. I was doing the usual teacher walk among them all, the one we do to head off possible problems. But it was a fun time. Away from the (also annual) state assessment stress, away from work, just time together.
I was doing the last minute check of hair and straightening shirt collars. I never want a repeat of the year a group of girls passed around a tube of bright red lipstick at the last minute and their picture packets came back with their lips literally glowing.
"Is that the way your hair should look?" I asked Trevor.
"Uh, yeah," he replied. He had just spent ten minutes in the boys' bathroom working on it but it had an odd slant to it.
"You think that is the way your mom wants it to be?" I pried again.
"She doesn't really care about my hair," he explained. "She just cares about my smile."
Ahhh, I thought to myself. How sweet.
"She just doesn't want me to smile like last year." And with that statement he curled one side of his lip up significantly exposing all the teeth on that half of his face. He looked like such a cartoon character I was bursting with laughter inside. I couldn't imagine how he made that face.
"I was just trying to look like Hans Solo." "I thought I did it really good, but she didn't."
Hmmm, that explains it all.