The solicitations started arriving in the mailbox months ago promising “Natural looking portraits” that will “capture your senior’s special moment” with “as many outfit changes as she wants.” The direct-mail pieces were beautiful, but, the high school senior in our house is a “he” who could care less about outfit changes.
My son casually trotted out the door this weekend to have his senior portrait taken. As a guy this was going to be a decidedly low-key affair. Unlike his female friends he did not view this event as a "photo shoot.” His senior portrait would not become a photo medley of his real or wished-for persona - serious senior, sporty senior, silly senior. It would not be a piece of artistic self-expression. It was a quick look in the window reflection as he left. I uttered in vain, “Don’t you even want to look in a real mirror?” “What for?” he replied. I dropped it.
I couldn't help but note the contrast to his gal pal's portrait sessions that highlighted model-worthy make-up and outfit changes fitting for Fashion Week. There would be no multiple-personality on display for perpetuity from my son, just a guy wearing the shirt that happened to be at the top of the pile in his closet.
While he has no sense of the magnitude of the moment, I sure did. "Do you realize that this picture will hang on my wall and be plastered on your lapel for every reunion the rest of your life?" The sense of profoundness was solely mine. Only I could see the sands of the time glass running through. Lines from the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken, kept popping up in my head. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both..."
To read the rest of this post click here Email the author at:firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission Slips is a weekly blog written with friend and colleague Linda Williams Rorem.