Today is class picture day at Carter’s school. The night before, I chose an outfit for him and hid his dirty yellow duck boots in the closet so he would not ask to wear them. I thought up clever tricks to cajole him into wanting to wear my outfit of choice instead of jeans and his favorite red shirt with the pirate on it.
It was all going so swimmingly. I did not even have to tell him the green plaid button-up shirt and tan corduroy pants were magical picture day clothes, designed to make him look ultra handsome.
me: Gushing – Carter! You look so handsome in that.
carter: Never one for modesty – I know momma, I handsome boy. So handsome.
I remembered to brush his hair. (The poor kids has literally gone days without getting his hair brushed. What can I say, it is a flaw of mine, I simply forget to brush my children’s hair.) After getting his hair brushed, in true Carter fashion, he swipes his hand through his hair from back to front a couple times purposely messing it up. Then he looks at me with his angelic face as if daring me to to fix it. I smile back and while helping him into his brown shoes I gently caress his head with my hands, stealthily fixing his part and taming some out of control curls (take that!). He gets his jacket and back pack on and then, grabbing my stocking cap off the entryway table, he yanks it over his head completely covering his face and removing any signs of order his hair once had (touché, Carter, touché).
We head out the door and the boys let out a holler. There is frost on the ground and the mud puddles are frozen. Such a treat! I simply can not take away from them the joy of poking a stick through the ice and watching it crack. They make icebergs and laugh. Carter gets mud splattered on his tan corduroys. I sigh and wipe the remains of his peanut butter toast off his face with my thumb as he boards the bus.
I almost asked him to smile big for the camera, but then thought better of it. Just let it be, momma, let it be, because after all Carter is right when he says “I handsome boy!” Yes you are my handsome boy, mud splatters and all.