To take a picture; it lasts longer

These are moments you will never want to forget, aren’t they? That’s why you’ll want to buy a photo of your child, wearing a screen-printed t-shirt with other girls her age wearing their same color t-shirts, smiling at the camera.

You’ll cherish this moment forever…or at least until your next team photo.

Saturday was photo day for my sophomore basketball team. The “Green Goblins”, as they decided to call themselves because they were assigned green shirts, were in perfect three rows by size. As their much taller coach, I knelt down beside them, plastered a smile on my face, and waited for the photographer to click.

I really like working with children. In my efforts to make the most of their rapidly changing athletic abilities, they get a lot of nonsense from me, like having to show each girl how much space she takes up when she has her hands up trying to discourage a shoot. Do I really need a photo to prove I was there?

I guess I’m a little cynical about photo days in general. They’re a bit like a Hallmark holiday, like a sports memorabilia version of Sweetest Day. No one could ever remember you hitting the gym for 10 Saturdays one winter if you didn’t have a team photo to prove it, right?

Maybe it’s because we’re going through our fourth daughter. We already have a good stack of photos, volleyball, basketball and softball teams, school classes and dance groups. They’re all in a folder in my office, in case we ever need to reference them. That day has not yet arrived.

We also have a cork board filled with buttons to encourage our athletes. Almost all photographers give you the opportunity to show your love for a particular player by wearing their image on your shirt or jacket these days. It took us a few years, but we finally realized that if the pictures come too late in the season, you won’t even get your button back until the final games. Yet there they are, visual proof of our children’s growth from season to season and year to year.

I’m also an unrepentant stingy, more practical than logical at times. It feeds my non-nostalgia. There’s no point looking at old photos, especially when you can take one yourself for free with your phone these days. I don’t need a picture on a statuette, a photo keychain or a camera bag tag.

And really, who takes the time to flip through old photos, unless you’re looking at your Facebook memories from five or 10 years ago? I can’t remember the last time I saw my high school team photos, but I guess that was the last time I moved by putting them in a box.

So for all these reasons I don’t like to buy team photos, you might be wondering why we buy them.

It’s the happy, shameless face of a child when he sees the picture for the first time. I know my 8 year old daughter will be reviewing this photo when we get her for 10 or 15 minutes at a time, looking at each girl’s face and remembering fond memories of her. When you ask her what she does, she will simply say, “I watch my team.

It’s her team, and I should let her enjoy it as long as she wants.

David Trinko is editor of The Lima News, a division of AIM Media Midwest. Contact him at 567-242-0467, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.

David Trinko Guest columnist

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