A Letter to the Yearbook Editor

Dear 5th grade yearbook editor,

I hate you. I know this might sound a bit harsh coming from a person you’ve never met, but perhaps once you’ve read my letter, you’ll come to understand why I think you’re the devil incarnate.

Let me start by saying that I remembered to send in the money to pay for my son’s elementary school yearbook – ON TIME I might add. And let me tell you, as disorganized as I am, that was no easy feat. But now (weeks later) you’ve requested that we also send in wallet-size copies of our kid’s 1st and 5th grade school pictures for some sort of then-and-now yearbook retrospective.

I reiterate, I hate you.

I know the people in your world put their pictures into albums, and there’s probably a fair amount of scrapbooking going on, but in my world, pictures get stuffed into drawers, boxes, cabinets, and closets. They become like Kodak paper caulk, filling in all the little nooks and crannies of those dark, forgotten places. So, asking me to find two specific pictures means sending me on a long expedition through those parts of my house that I would much rather avoid.

I’ve got a reasonable chance of finding the picture taken this school year, but the one from FOUR years ago? You might as well blindfold me, drop me in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, and send me on a quest to find a poison dart frog. Actually, that would be easier – at least I’m sure the poison dart frog exists; I can’t say the same for my son’s 1st grade school photo.

The way I see it, you gave me two crappy options to chose from:  I could either look for the pictures and risk being crushed to death by an avalanche of disorganized photos, or I could forget the whole thing and choke on my own maternal guilt.  At least if I chose the former option, my son would know I died a hero.

So I opened the first closet door….



I swear I heard the Spongebob narrator mocking me in my head.



After an exhaustive search, my findings only served to reinforce my reasons for wanting to steer clear of these confusing crevices. I felt as though I fell down a rabbit hole, and into a world where nothing makes any sense.  For example, I had an easier time finding my high school field hockey picture from 25-years ago, than my son’s current school photo:



The 80’s were a very dark time in my hair’s history.

The 80’s were a very dark time in my hair’s history.


I also found at least twenty pictures of my dog, Lady, who died almost two decades ago, but not a single wallet-size photo of my son in first grade:


Makes me wonder if I subconsciously love my dog more than my kid.

Do I subconsciously love my dead dog more than my kid?


My crazy trip to blunderland also unearthed an 8×10 photo of this from the depths of my closet:


You just can’t make this shit up.

You just can’t make this shit up.


I can’t tell you how much I appreciate being reminded of the fact that I’m married to a man who not only photographs creepy bugs, but also feels compelled to enlarge them like they’re family portraits. For obvious reasons, my brain made the executive decision long ago to forget about this adorable quirk of his, but due to your little treasure hunt, it’s once again staring at me in the face – with all five of its beady bug eyes.

I wish I could tell you that after hours of sweating and sifting through these bittersweet remnants of my past, I achieved my goal of finding the lost pictures; but that’s the kind of fairytale ending only organized people get to have. My ending includes a cold six-pack, and a debate over whether or not to venture back into the bewildering abyss tomorrow.

But before I crack open my first beer, I’d like to thank you for wasting the better part of my day on a fruitless search to find a picture I probably didn’t even get around to sending to his grandmother. And another word of thanks for making me feel like the world’s crappiest mother because I managed to hang onto Jeff Goldblum’s after-photo, but not my own son’s school portraits.

Maybe someday when my kids are all grown up and I’m looking for a new hobby, I’ll break out some pinking shears and create a collage of perfect memories. But until then, here’s my scrapbook, bitch….


Move the fuck over, Martha Stewart.

Move the fuck over, Martha Stewart.

10 thoughts on “A Letter to the Yearbook Editor

  1. school volunteers exist to drive ordinary parents crazy!! Think of it this way..at least you don’t have
    hundreds of albums that you inflict on all visiting relatives.

    • Mom –

      You’re right, those pesky volunteers do nothing but make us introverted, PTA phobic, moms look bad. Sure, they accomplish all the jobs that only exist in my worst nightmares, but still, do they have to be so EFFICIENT about it? So irritating. 🙂

  2. OMG a mother as crappy as me! We must start our own club. “The Anti-mothers”, “Reality Bites Mothers” or “Sunshine, Lollipops and Fuck U Mothers”. Any title will do — just don’t expect us to bake eatable cupcakes on bakesale day or hand in any important documents signed and without food stains of some kind (I hope their food stains). This is motherhood at its finest. The rest are aliens. I saw Men In Black. I know who you are and I have my eye on you.

    • Hey Bels!

      My vote is for “Sunshine, lollipops and Fuck You” – I think we should make t-shirts with this slogan on it. I love it so much I might even embroider it on a pillow….should I ever lose the use of my legs, and have nothing better to do than sit around and learn how to embroider.

      As our first order of business in the SL&FY club, we will send out a letter to all those PTA moms who have their shit together and make us look bad. It will read simply: “Fuck You and the papier-mached horse you rode in on.” But we can sign it with X’s and O’s so they don’t feel too bad. I may be resentful, but I’m not totally heartless.

      (real) x’s and o’s,

  3. My husband photographs rocks and clouds with a panoramic camera. The first 60 pictures of our Montana vacation were of rock formations as seen from the highway. I have already reached the time in motherhood where I no longer photograph my child on a regular basis (also she is going through a pants optional phase) so I will wonder one day what she looked like as a toddler. Probably about the time she is getting her senior pictures taken.

  4. Hi! A touching story really. I love that you don’t seem to care enough about your son to keep up with his school pictures. While I am a girl, and I am biased because I am a co-senior editor on my yearbook staff, I would mortally wounded if my mom lost my school pictures. I’m sure that if you found it in your “maternal” spirit to actually find that picture, your son and his future wife and kids will thank you for it later. Thank you for taking the time to read my comment. Unless of course, ha, it may make an avalanche of anger fall upon you.

    • None ya –

      Hi! I’d like to introduce you to my two best friends – their names are “humor” and “sarcasm”. I enjoy bringing them to the blogging party any time life makes me nuts because they tend to lighten things up a bit. If you took this post as seriously as it seems you did, you missed the point entirely.

      I suggest you come back in about 15-20yrs. after you’ve graduated and maybe popped out a couple of kids – I promise this post will seem funnier the second time around. Why? Because contrary to what us Moms try to have our kids believe, parents aren’t perfect. We fuck up….. like, A LOT. And in sharing those “oops” moments with other parents, we get to have a good laugh about our imperfections once in awhile and make each other feel better. Which is a WHOLE lot more fun than trolling people on the internet and trying to make them feel like shit for not being perfect.

      But just to help you sleep at night, I’ll fill you in on a little secret – the picture was eventually found, and no “mortal wounds” were inflicted. Go me!

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