The way I figure it, we have one picture left to take.
That is unless she decides to go to graduate school, but I don’t see that happening.
The only way she would opt to go to graduate school would be if she was having fun in college and wasn’t ready to start working a real job.
Wait a minute.
Nah, I don’t really think she is going to graduate school, at least not right away, so I’m thinking that we do only have one picture left.
The pictures I’m talking about are our now 20-year-old daughter Emma’s first day of school pictures.
Technically, Monday wasn’t Emma’s first day of school this year, but it was the day she was leaving to go back to college, which was good enough for my wife.
“OK, we’re all packed,” I said. “Let’s get going.”
“Are you kidding? I have literally been ready to leave since I literally came home in May,” Emma said.
I got the impression that Emma, who will be a junior, was anxious to get back to college.
“Wait,” my wife said, “we have to take our picture.”
“Bad word,” I said.
“Literally (bad word),” Emma said.
The first time we took the back-to-school picture on our front porch it really wasn’t a back-to-school picture. It was a first-day-of-school picture.
We were getting ready to take Emma to her first day of kindergarten at Mark Twain Elementary School. Emma was excited but a bit nervous, and I was anxious to get her to school before she realized what was happening and started to cry.
So when my wife said, “Wait, we have to take our picture,” I said — to myself — “(Bad word)”, while Emma said — to herself — “I wish I knew a bad word.”
First, my wife took a picture of Emma on our porch. Then she took a picture of Emma and me on our porch. Then I took a picture of Emma and my wife on our porch.
By this time, of course, Emma began to realize that maybe the first day of kindergarten was more of a big deal than she thought, so five minutes later when we walked her into her classroom Emma started crying.
I’m not saying it was my wife’s fault that Emma cried on her first day of kindergarten.
I’m just saying.
Ever since those first pictures on our porch, my wife has insisted we repeat them on every one of Emma’s first days of school.
For a while, Emma didn’t mind taking the pictures. Then, about the time she entered junior high, Emma began to hate taking the pictures.
By the time Emma was in high school, her hatred for the pictures turned into a full-blown massive hatred.
And, as you know, a full-blown massive hatred is much worse than a normal hatred.
One of the problems with the first-day-of-school pictures is that, other than that very first one, we have no idea where they are located.
“They’re somewhere in the house,” is all my wife will say whenever I asked her where the other pictures are located.
Of course, for us, saying “somewhere in the house” is pretty much the same as saying Jimmy Hoffa is “somewhere in New Jersey.”
But as much as Emma and I have grown to dread taking the first-day-of-school pictures, we know that how we feel about them isn’t really the point. It’s how my wife feels about them.
So, on Monday, we stood on the porch and smiled for the pictures. When we were done, it got quiet for a second.
And then Emma broke that quiet. “Can we go? We’re literally going to be late.”
Did I mention Emma was anxious to get back to college?