We hate to be conformists. Life’s too short. We’ve always been a little different, and Jake has helped us lose that last shred of “what will the neighbors think?”. When you’ve got a kid on the autism spectrum who’s as likely to say the first thing that comes to mind as he is to start crying in public, you lose that sense of shame that comes with sticking out.
I love taking pictures, and I love my kids. I’ve been posing them for years in silly poses and creating images we can share as a family.
Two years ago, we took a back to school picture that got over 400 likes on Facebook. It was Beth and I jumping up in excitement behind our depressed-looking kids. We just wanted to be a little different than the rest. We’d seen something very similar on Google Images and figured we could scam the look.
Last year we took mug shots with the kids standing in front of a height chart and sadly holding their grades and teachers on placards in front of them. That one didn’t go over well.
This year we copied another gem we found on Google a couple of years ago. I think this is it:
It didn’t seem too hard. Beth’s post gives the details.
It would have been easier if our kids were picked up by a bus.
What we didn’t expect was the reaction. We’ve gone mini-famous. I haven’t been to work, gone to the grocery store, or even the town office in the last three days without someone stopping me and letting me know they enjoyed the picture.
It was shown on the Channel 7 news Tuesday, and my 32 second video has been seen on YouTube 979 times since then. The anchor had seen it shared on HIS Facebook feed and loved it!
The original has been liked 310 times on Facebook, and just today surpassed 1,000 shares. We get to see some of who share it (depending on their privacy settings), and can confirm that we’ve been shared on at least two continents.
Heck, my screen grab of rock station 97.7 FM’s share has over 100 likes! It’s the closest thing to “viral” we’ve ever been.
What a strange little unifying thing. 1/125th of a second.
Most of the responses have been happy, with the majority of those who shared with friends making plans to do the same to their kids next year. I hope they do.
A vocal minority has been outraged at the idea that we would so boldly express our joy IN FRONT OF OUR KIDS. How dare we make them feel bad?!? Who in this day and age could imagine that this picture is a candid moment?
Another group seemed mad that it was staged. Aren’t all pictures staged? Most kids don’t hang out with little chalkboards or smile in front of their houses on the first day of school, on the off chance that someone may take their picture. Silly.
A few people have suggested we share the picture with Ellen Degeneres. One person claims to have done just that. I don’t expect anything to come of it, it being so derivative of someone else’s work and all.
Anyway, it’s been a whirlwind and super fun four days. Only 167 school days left!
The big question remains: how on earth are we going to top this next year? Any ideas?