A Picture Is Worth About 35 Cents...

My son Alex had his sophmore high school picture taken yesterday. I’m glad that they take it as soon as the kids go back to school, because now I don’t have to pay for another “back to school looking” haircut again for a few months!

I’m sure that all mothers would like to think that her little bundle of joy is strikingly beautiful. As a mom myself, I think my kid is damn cute (and I have non-relative opinions to back that up). For the first three years of his life I spent nearly every minute behind a camera catching each adorable second – just so I could look back and marvel at my parenting skills – is that NOT why we do it?

Of course, it took a professional photographer to make my kid look like Quasimoto! At the tender age of four I signed Alex up for the obligatory one season of soccer. Personally I think he was bullied into it by the jock family across the street, but I guess there is the slightest possibility that he really wanted to play. Half-way through the season I discovered where all those sports pictures, fake Sports Illustrated Covers, and damnable little league sports trading cards came from. A company ACTUALLY comes to the field to provide photographic evidence of the year some poor child lost the majority of his baby teeth during a penalty kick gone awry! It just so happened that I was working the evening that pictures were taken, so I enlisted the help of my father – just to make sure that Alex smiled and his features weren’t completely obscured by mud. I happily worked that night, knowing that everything was being taken care of by one of my closest and most responsible family members.

At the next to the last game of the season, the coach annouced that the pictures were in. My husband and I eagerly awaited this gem that we could proudly place on the buffet – evidence that our son was not only gorgeous – but manly, too! But when we were handed the picture we froze – and then right there in the middle of the youth soccer field – we burst into a fit of laughter that caused us both to pee our pants! It was the worst picture of ANY child, let alone OURS, that either of us had ever seen! And believe me – I’ve suffered some horrible school pictures (like the year my mom cut my bangs while running with scissors, or the year she put tape on my bangs so they’d be straight – then cut above the tape so that I had very straight, quarter inch bangs, OR the year that she …you get it). And I don’t EVEN want to get into the things that years of therapy have still never resolved!

The picture made him look like he was going to simultaneously throw up and pass out (remember when the old President Bush….?)! I’ve never seen that look before, and I hope to G-d I never have to see it again. BUT still, every so often when I’m in the post office, I’m tempted to leaf through the 25 most wanted posters just to see if I can find a sketch that rivals our soccer picture for pure shock value. And so far – NOT EVEN CLOSE!

Anyway – it has since become one of my favorite pictures. And it taught me an important lesson in parenting. No matter how adorable I think my kid is – he has an ugly child inside just waiting to get out.

So, let’s all keep our fingers crossed that this year’s picture is a keeper. I swear – he’s really cute!

A Picture Is Worth About 35 Cents...

Donna Dart

Blenheim, United States

  • Artist

Artist's Description

How I became the owner of the ugliest children’s sport photo EVER!



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