“Mommy, today is picture retake day!” Sydney reminded me this morning.
“Okay…Do you want to have your pictures retaken?” I asked her. We had talked about it, but never confirmed.
“Well, don’t you remember my hair in the last one?” she asked me.
Yes. I remembered her hair. I also remember how annoyed I was that the photographer didn’t take the time to push her hair away from her face. Several messy strands were actually hanging over the front of her glasses. To make matters worse, the lenses of her transition glasses were tinted slightly brown. It must have been too bright in the room where the pictures were taken. Sydney is a beautiful girl. This was a very average picture of her.
Not to mention the fact that her identical twin sister’s picture was pretty perfect. Even though I know better, I couldn’t help but compare the two.
I dried Sydney’s hair and styled it with a round brush, assuming she had opted for retakes since she brought the subject up. She pulled her bangs off to the side with a bright yellow bow – it’s become her signature look. This picture would be precious based on her appearance.
“Momma, there’s only one bad thing about today,” she said with concern as we packed to go.
“What, honey?” I asked her.
“I can’t find my glasses anywhere, and I really wanted to have them on like I did in my last pictures,” she confessed.
“Well, I can’t help you there, Syd,” I said. “Your glasses are a mystery. I’m afraid we’re gonna have to buy new pair.”
“I know,” she sighed with some shame, but mostly disappointment.
“Honey, you do know that you don’t have to get retakes, right?” I asked her.
“I don’t?” she asked in surprise.
“No,” I assured her. “These are your pictures. If you are happy with them just the way they are, then I’m happy with them too.”
“But I thought you didn’t like my hair,” she said. My heart sank.
“Sydney, you look beautiful in your picture! Mommy should have never said that about your hair. I was just being picky. I’m sorry if I made you feel like I didn’t like it. What matters the most is that you like it. If you feel good about yourself when you look at this picture, then put that packet down and forget about retakes!” I instructed her with authority.
“Really?!” she asked with excitement.
“Really,” I promised.
“Thanks, Mommy. I really like this picture, so I’m gonna stick with it,” she decided with ease. She threw the packet on the counter and ran to the car.
I looked down at her picture that before had seemed frustrating and average. Suddenly it was beautiful. Probably my favorite picture yet. In a world of digital takes and retakes, my little girl accepted herself just as she was – imperfections and all. Shame on me for derailing her confidence with negativity.
Lesson learned, SydneyRella. I promise you, it won’t happen again.