Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Picture Perfect

I've got a photography story today. It's only a small one; but it has a happy ending. And it's January: it's dark, it's cold and I'll take my cheer wherever I can find it!

My story started out like this:

The Tall One came home from school one afternoon, half way through last term. "They're going to take our picture," he said. "Everyone in Upper Sixth. all together. As a momento." and he savoured the word, because he knew it was one I would appreciate. So, in return,  I gave him five minutes of Mum Talk about how important I think stuff like this is, and how he'd love to look at the photo years from now - and he rolled his eyes and went off to do something else.


A few days later he came home from school again and he said: "I won't be in the photo after all. I've got Debating Competition away that day and they'll have to leave me out". So, I gave him a bit more Mum Talk about how the picture would still be important and we'd buy a copy anyway; and he rolled his eyes and went off to do something else.

Some days after that he came home again. "Photo update!" he said. "They've taken my picture and they're going to Photoshop me in." Well of course that gave me free licence for at least ten minutes on the thoughtfulness of the school, the miraculous wonders of Photoshop, special memories, and so on and so on - and he rolled his eyes..and you know the rest.

Then a Bad Thing happened. He came home from school just before Christmas and he shook his head. "The proofs for the photo arrived, " he said. "And I'm not in it! They didn't Photoshop me after all."

I went into overdrive - we needed a photo all the same. His friends were there, he'd want to remember..I fought back the urge to tell him about my school Formal photo (maybe some day); and I pressed the money into his hand. "Buy it," I said. "You won't regret it."

Last Friday he came through the door carrying a smart little navy case. "It's the photo," he said. "It's in a nice box, but I'm still not in it." He handed it over and I asked if I could have a look all the same, see who I could recognise. I opened it up. The picture was rolled into a scroll, tied with a ribbon; and, unless I undid the bow, I could only see one or two heads at the end of one row. One or two heads? But wait! One of those heads was sporting an unmistakeable shock of dark brown hair. I could only see two heads - and it looked like one of them was the Boy Who Wasn't There. How can I be subtle about this? I thought. He must have been looking for himself in the wrong place. How can I ask if I'm seeing things?

"Am I seeing things?" I said. "Is that you?" And he looked and for the first time in about a week, he smiled. And I was glad. Because he's very nearly eighteen. There are things he doesn't need me to do for him any more, and things I can't do for him even if he wanted me to; but, every now and again, I still get to give him a helping hand. And that's good.



45 comments:

joy said...

What a lovely story. and just for your info, when they get to about 24, they usually come and ask for help when you least expect it.
Joy xx

JulieJ said...

That's a wonderful story and a beautiful page. That dark wood background is just perfect with the blue in the photos.

Mary B said...

Oh Sian that is such a lovely story I have tears of joy running down my face. I love the page you created too one I would rather like to scraplift

Julie Kirk said...

I love this [and if I'm honest, I'm feeling a bit moist eyed too!]. You really are a wonderful memory keeper. x

p.s: I wonder if he had a blind spot because he *knew* he wasn't there. Like when I couldn't see a parcel I'd left on the floor last week, because I knew I hadn't even been over that side of the room so it couldn't be there ...

Amy said...

Hi Sian! What a great story and page you've made about this moment in time for you and your young man ... actually, you reminded me of my Dad today, how you referred to the 'mum talk' and about being there to lend a hand ... just like my Dad.

We're half way to 18 here - I'm gulping at the thought!

Sandra said...

Oh Sian such a lovely thing the school did. Sounds like it made both of you smile - you always bring us into the story with you

Jimjams said...

Lovely story - was he fooling you or could he genuinely not see himself?
10/10 to the school for taking the time to add him back in :o)

Jimjams said...

Opps - also meant to say what a fabulous page too - that way you get to keep the part of the photo that's important to you!

Jennie Hart said...

What a beautiful story. Made me gulp a bit. I liked the twist, I was sure you were going to tell us about hours of scanning and photoshopping and instead he was already there. My son cannot see things that are stuck to his nose so I understand that.

Ladkyis said...

Oh I love it when stuff like that happens! He will always need you to do things for him, just not what you expect. My children are all over 40 now and they still need me to do things. OH and thumbs up to the school for thinking about it and then acting on the thought.

Twinkle Star said...

What a wonderful story Sian - I do love a happy ending :)

Love your layout too!

Hugs, Estelle xx

laurie said...

ha! he certainly knows you well and it was sweet that he had a bit of fun with you about the photo.

Chipper said...

I love the green splashes of colour on the dark background. Masculine but super fun :-) I am glad he was in the photo and that you had the opportunity to spot him.

Gail said...

What a great looking layout Sian. I was so prepared for you to say that you had photoshopped him in so was delighted with the end of your story that the school had indeed photoshopped him in.

S said...

What a lovely surprise for you both. Could it be that they just did not add him until after the proof shot? Or is it just a mystery never to be solved. Great topic for your page - nice!

Linda said...

Lovely!! I've got 2 of those long photos, one from lower 6th, one from upper sixth, great to look back on! The camera panned along the rows slowly so that 1 boy could run to the other end and be in it twice! Corse, that was in the days before photoshop LOL!

Barbara Eads said...

That story is sooo cute. You have to figure out a way to include it on the layout. These are the stories I love to see. The "other" stories behind the picture are just as important to me as the pictures themselves!

Scrappi Sandi said...

Oh I loved this story....& I loved the LO to go with it!! You can tell the tall one...next time he's giving you time to talk!!...At 52 I became very popular as the one person who still had a copy of the 1972 whole school L-O-N-G photo...so we had a negative made (luckily one of my old classmates is now in printing!!) & everyone at the reunion got to order a new copy for themselves!!

Sian said...

Jemma, No he really hadn't spotted himself! Though I'm liking Susanne's suggestion that he wasn't actually in the proof. She might be on to something there.

Barbara, for a long blog story like this I print it out and stick it to the back of the layout

Elizabeth said...

It's a lovely story, but he really didn't realize he had be photoshopped in? Well, like most men he probably didn't see it right in front of his nose.

Jo said...

That is such a great story and it did make me laugh. My daughter probably wouldn't spot herself either :)

debs14 said...

I love this story, and I know for a fact that in years to come he will be pleased that Photoshop exists and that he was included with the rest of the year group. You see, we know how important looking back can become, they haven't found that out yet!

Irene said...

Such a perfect story for a very important picture. You have captured both so well on your gorgeous layout.
I collated all my elder daughter's school photographs and gave them to her in book form with school certificates etc on her 21st birthday. It is one of her prized possessions. I am sure The Tall One will treasure this photo too in the years to come. Good spotting, Sian.

Jennifer Shaw said...

Terrific story and a wonderful LO! Love the brown background with the blues in the photos. Very masculine. Yes, these types of photos are often much more appreciated years down the road.

Mel said...

Sweet story and a very thoughtful school!

Sheena said...

What a fabulous story Sian and how thoughtful of the school to add him in x
I have a lad in the U6th too, mine thinks he's all grown up but I know he still needs me sometimes ;)

Alison said...

Love the layout Sian...we have one very similar from Kirsty's last year at school...I keep telling her that one day she will be glad to have it!
Alison xx

Karen said...

Such a lovely story and a beautiful layout to accompany it.

Alinor said...

Lovely story Sian ♥ I definitely remember being 18 (not so long ago), and boy how hard it must be for you parents ;)
anyway, loving the layout, that background is perfect!

Louise said...

awww Sian...it's good to know that your boy still needs his mum. such a lovely story and page - i've ever thought to print out the blog post to attach to a layout either x

Sue Althouse said...

Nice, nice. And at the end of your story, I smiled. They grow up too fast.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Oh, Sian, that last paragraph has such truth to it. Just last night, Henry was beside himself, feeling overwhelmed with everything he needs to do to finish up his senior year, and when I was able to give him a little motherly reassurance, I could feel him exhale and his load lightened (just a bit).
Thanks for sharing your story.
Rinda

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

Such a lovely story and it gives him a great memory to go with the photo as well.

Mitra Pratt said...

Super cool story! Love that glittery banner and that paper is swoon worthy! Love your writing style!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

This is such a sweet story, and a great layout to go with it. I love those times when Carrie "needs" me. Now that she's all grown up those times are fewer and further between, but I take what I can get.

alexa said...

Wonderfully written, Sian, and worthy of being tied up in a ribbon and a presentation box of its own :). What a super Mum you are ...

Missus Wookie said...

Oh what a thoughtful school and yeah for Mum's that spot things for you too. Lovely page, very you :)

Becky said...

What a lovely story and I am so glad that he was photoshopped in. Lovely for him to have and for you to scrap!

stephanie said...

Great story :) love the splash of gold too

Karen said...

All your advice was so true. The layout is just wonderful, but the story is the best!

Melissa said...

I'm sure that smile made your day! What a lovely story, and (as always) you did a lovely job of telling it & keeping me wondering along the way.

Paula - Buenos Aires said...

As a Happysnappy, librarian, memory keeper with a tall one who is about to finish school of my own, I soooooo get your story. :)

Nathalie said...

Oh, this made me smile for sure :) I loved the story and love your page!

Sandie said...

That IS a lovely story, Sian. My friend and I sometimes look at our Junior School photo - and I won't say how many years old that is!! So pleased your son was included and what a wonderful thoughtful school to include him.

Jennifer Grace said...

Fabulous story! I wasn't in my final school photo (at 16) because I was away on holiday, but I bought it anyway. These things are important memories!

Love the dark woodgrain paper you've used as the background, it's very striking, and cool! x

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