Parker and Bailey know that I only make two photographic demands per year: first day of school, and birthday. Parker turned thirteen years old one week ago, and I thought I’d try to do something a bit different for his photos this year. I wanted to sort of creepily document his entire day, from waking up, to school, to hanging out, to baseball practice…you know, a real “day in the life” kind of thing.
But let me tell you how poorly that worked out. I set my alarm extra early that morning so that I could be sure to still catch him snoozing. Before I even got out of bed, however, I did a quick email check on my phone, only to see the grade reports for the kids that come through from their schools every night. My precious birthday boy was “missing” two assignments. Almost instantly, the warm and fuzzy edges of my mom-heart began to harden. I have been trying so hard to stay on top of his school work. He’s insisted that he can manage his pre-AP classes on top of baseball…and the school play…and cross country…and the theater tournament team. But, the Internet was snitching on him, and I had the proof right in front of me. My sleepy eyebrows furrowed as I stomped to collect my camera and make my way upstairs.
It was too dark for photos, I reasoned as I huffed up the steps. I was too grumpy for photos, I decided as I entered his room. And this kid needed to wake the heck up and get out of bed and explain to me very quickly what was going on with these missing assignments, young man, and you STILL have homework to finish from last night anyway, and oh my gosh how on earth did your room get so messy so quickly with these clothes that I just folded crammed into any random drawer not to mention your closet and do you even have a clean gym uniform because it’s NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY to hold your hand and…
Oh, my mom-heart.
My precious boy is thirteen. He’s beautiful, he’s kind, he’s triumphantly imperfect…and he’s mine. I love you, Parker Day Boles. And I hope teenager-dom treats you well, and not like that kid in your gym class who has only started growing pit hair under ONE of his arms. Brutal.
(So look, I’m not a complete pushover. I still made him get out of bed early, get on his school laptop, get cracking on that dumb homework, and send some groveling teacher emails to figure out a plan for those missing assignments. I made a half-assed attempt to photograph his morning. Kind of. But I gave up pretty quickly and just drug him along with me to scout new photo locations a few days later. Say cheese, baby. It’s your birthday. You owe me.)