Being a mom of a 5-year-old, I like to have a lot of pictures taken of my little girl to show how much she’s changed yet stayed the same. But, being the mom of a 5-year-old, I’ve learned that I can’t always get the perfect picture. She’ll blink in the first 3, smile like a monkey in the next 4, then smile beautifully for the last one, but turn away at the last second so all I get is a blurry blob that somewhat resembles my child. And I’m forever trying to come up with new phrases to get her to smile. “Say ‘Happy Birthday!’ Say ‘Chuck E. Cheese!’ Say ‘Banana!’ Say “Stinky Cheese!’ Say ‘I’m Outta Here!'” I love digital cameras because I can delete all those bad ones so I have room to take even more weird shots. But in the end, the ones I put on my computer are gorgeous, as few as they are.
I think I have found a happy medium to all this madness. Silhouette cut-outs from Disneyland! My daughter only has to sit still for a few minutes while the wonderful Cast Member works his/her magic with only a pair of scissors and a piece of paper. The cuteness of my child is caught forever in this little portrait, but the rolling of the eyes or the frozen smile (“Mom, are we done yet? My cheeks hurt!) are not. I can even get a cute little black frame to hang on the wall or stand on a shelf/piano/hearth/victrola/end table.
For Mother’s Day this year, my wonderful dad took my gorgeous child to Disneyland to get a new silhouette done. The last one I’d had done was in late 2005/early 2006 when she wasn’t even 2 yet. While that first one still looks like my Em, she’s definitely changed since then. And this new one is fantastic! When looking at the two portraits side-by-side, you can tell it’s the same child, yet somehow you can tell that she’s older in the second one. I can’t quite tell you how, but the first one clearly shows she still has that baby face. I decided to write the date of the new silhouette on the back so I can keep track later.
This may just be my new tradition with Em. Since we’re Annual Passholders at Disneyland anyway, it makes sense. I haven’t decided how often to get new ones done, but maybe I’ll just do certain milestones. Starting 4th grade, starting 7th, starting 9th, High School graduation… Or perhaps after she looses her first tooth, rides her bike without training wheels, looses her last tooth (wisdom teeth aside), her first dance, passing her DMV test, prom…
Maybe I’ll do them all. I think I can never have too many reminders of how my little one is not so little anymore.