We are entering the seasons for new beginnings and holiday celebrations. What better way to mark this than posting first day of school photos on social media? Follow this by photos of my kids in their Halloween costumes, then with a paper turkey in hand, and finally winter wonderland holiday cards. However, I’m not putting any of these photos on social media.
I enjoy seeing all the first day of school and life milestone photos on Facebook.
It’s nice to see kids heading off to school to get their brains recharged after a summer of fun. This year, my oldest joined the Kindergarten ranks and I abstained from posting the obligatory photo of her holding or standing next to a sign on social media.
Pinterest must be busting at the seams because the signs are charming time capsules. They are great, but creating a sign for my daughter felt disingenuous for me because my head was someplace else on the first day of school.
I write about all the emotional situations I need to process and I wrote about my anxieties and concerns before the school year started.
First, I addressed my concerns on being the religious minority. Then I posted about how involved (or not) I wanted to be in my daughter’s school. Then I Wept On The First Day Of School—But Not For The Reason You Think.
On the “big day” I took tons of photos of my kid, sans sign. She was dressed in all pink with a matching pink backpack, she looked like I dipped her in Pepto-Bismol. Her face expressed a mixture of anxiety with a small dash of excitement, then some panic as she lined up to get on the bus. I took more photos, but I mostly captured everything in my mind’s eye. I was making more memories than I could keep up with the fateful morning. I sent some photos to my family and best friends via email, but it just doesn’t feel right for me to post them to social media with a snappy caption. The morning was not all smiles and delight and I wasn’t going to pretend otherwise to get the perfect shot for Facebook.
Then I realized this is the first of many moments I will not be posting to social media as my kids hit their “big kid” milestones.
“Should” is how others want us to show up in the world – how we’re supposed to think, what we ought to say, what we should or shouldn’t do… Each year, I look at what I commit to and make sure that I am making a conscious choice and not just doing it out of guilt, obligation, tradition, or because of what others will think.
“Because of what others will think” is where the buck stops for me. I’m not interested in doing what’s expected. I have always marched to the beat of my own drummer and the drum gets louder with every passing year. This includes setting up a holiday photo-shoot months beforehand with the intention to send out picture perfect holiday cards. My life in October does not look like a magical winter wonderland where my adorable children are playing together nicely and holding giant snowflakes while frolicking with woodland creatures.
If we’re going to be real, my photo-shoot would create a stop motion flip book. You’ll see my twins fighting and melting down over the same damn pink princess nightgown. It’s the same scene in my house every single night. I am so tempted to go King Solomon on it and threaten to cut the thing in half! Winter Wonderland?…my life is not.