It’s all in the smile

I’m on social media- a lot. I noticed the other day that everyone’s children are lovely. Pictures show that they are angelic, well dressed, and down right cute! Adorable. Posed. Boring. I’m at the age when I can talk about how it was back in the olden days. Back in the days when my mother took pictures with her Argus camera we didn’t see resulting photographs until a week or a month later. Sometimes the developed film wasn’t picked up from the pharmacy until a year or more later. That’s when the laughs began.  The concept of awkward family photos is usually relegated to those photos taken before the invention of the phone/camera combo. I love ‘Throwback Thursdays’ when I get to see the candid vibrant pictures of my friends who are usually in a puddle of other kids.

Pictures of kids whose eyes have taken on demonic tones, whose hair looks like a manual egg beater went through it, or like they just sat down and squashed a raw egg no longer exist. Glaring sun in their eyes? No. My mom won a company photo contest when her image landed smack in the middle of the sphere at the 1965 World’s Fair thanks to nifty “double exposure.” My favorite picture taken during my childhood is of my sister on her first Holy Communion. Two weeks after the event, when my mom tore open the envelope, we laughed until tears rolled down our cheeks. Her goofy turned up smile was perfect against her pristine white lace dress and filmy veil.  My sister explained she’d merely gotten tired of picture taking.

Today, I usually see candid shots of how perfect little ones are in the eyes of their loving parents who might not see the perfection of imperfection. Photos that show cute, cute, and more cute. I’m not suggesting shaming pictures or the ones I’ve seen taken in the middle of a tantrum. Those are private moments that every child should have. But it seems many of today’s pics are quickly deleted. What will that mean in the future when children who are all grown up leaf through their parents Facebook pages and they see that they were always awesome and the angle of their childhoods was always just right?  I still love leafing through my mother’s albums crammed with black and whites and color shots. They remind me that I was a funny kid and I was sometimes sad. I was always a pretty full rounded person and my bad days weren’t deleted. They sit right next to my good days. While those paper pictures may be a bit faded in color they will never be in my memory. Thank you old Argus!



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