THE BLOG

An Open Letter to Children: Smile for the Damn Camera!

Come on! You were having fun a second ago. Geez, you're so literal...a few minutes ago. Remember way back then? Ah, the laughter. You don't have to be having a great time right now, you just have to look like you're having a great time.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
Sad child. Fater daughter regretting
Sad child. Fater daughter regretting

Hey kids!

Say "cheese!!!"

Come on! You were having fun a second ago. Geez, you're so literal...a few minutes ago. Remember way back then? Ah, the laughter. You don't have to be having a great time right now, you just have to look like you're having a great time. Because you were having fun and you will again! Just as soon as we get one good photo. Maybe two. We have so few with all of us together.

You're young, so let me explain it to you. Calmly and rationally.

Right now, you're annoyed that you have to stand still and pose for some dumb picture. I get it. We're taking you out of the moment, away from actual fun. Or maybe we forgot to take pictures earlier, when you would have been genuinely happy, and now you're just genuinely tired. I understand. Chances are, I'm tired, too. And now, also kind of annoyed. Mostly, I'm annoyed that, after your mother and I planned, and had, such a nice day with you and your brother, spent a lot of money to be here and bought you each an overpriced whatever-the-hell it is that you'll forget about tomorrow, you refuse to thank us simply by smiling. So stop being an ungrateful little brat and just fu...frigging smile!!! Haha! Just kidding. We're having fun! So let's have fun out here! Smile, say "cheese," say "booger farts," I don't care what you say.

WE'RE MAKING MEMORIES, SO SMILE FOR THE CAMERA, DAMMIT!

I'm sorry I raised my voice. You're right, I shouldn't have done that. Give me a hug. I love you, too.

I love being your parent. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But, here's the truth: being a parent is tough and can seem like a thankless job. Your mother and I feel appreciated in the little things. Your smiles and laughs; the hugs and kisses you give us; seeing that look of pride you get when you've mastered a once out of reach skill. And, when we take you someplace new, we love to just watch you and see the wonder and excitement on your beautiful face. That is why families spend a million dollars for a weekend at Disney World. Well, maybe not a million, but close to it. Whatever the price, it seems like too much until you give Mickey a hug that shows him you've known him your whole life. So worth it.

Haha! Captured the moment when you weren't looking!!!

Yeah, yeah, you're always worth it. We want you to experience everything. We don't ask for much in return, just a well-timed smile. Heck, a slightly upturned grin will do.

We would love to be able to blink our eyes and our eyelids would be the camera's shutters. We would upload the image to our brains, think of witty yet heartwarming caption and share the picture on Instagram and Facebook. I know, that would be cool! Unfortunately, my sources tell me that technology is AT LEAST 18 months away. In the meantime, we have to either get lucky capturing the moment, camera at the ready, or force you to stand still and say cheese.

We'll probably remember the joy of the day without the picture, but we are old and our memories aren't what they used to be. So please smile for mommy and daddy.

Fake it if you have to. No, it's not lying. It's a reflection of the truth. No, that is not a fancy way of saying "lying." It's, well...

If you smile, I'll get you ice cream. With sprinkles. In a waffle cone.

Now, say "extortion!" Just kidding, say "ice cream!" SMILE!!!