teenagers at restaurant

Exhibit A


(Or how having a teenager turned me into a paparazzi!) 

For those of you who have babies and toddlers,  I have a bit of advice.  Enjoy them now. Even relish in the terrible twos and the I-can-do-it-myself threes. Why?  Because before you know it….

You. Will . Have . A . Teenager.

I know, I know. It’s hard to imagine that cuddly baby or energetic toddler turning into a teen, but it happens to the best of us.  And it’s best to be prepared.

Oh, it’s not all bad. They’ll sometimes cook supper for you (if the mood, the day of the week and the phase of the moon is in sync.) And they’ll introduce you to awesome new bands. (And yes, I really do love that!). And they are great company if you happen to love scary, spooky, ghost-filled movies (which I do!)

But there is one thing about the introduction to teen years that makes me crazy.  I cannot for the life of me get a decent picture of her!

Consider “Exhibit A.”  My daughter and her bestie were leaving in the morning to spend several weeks up north with the guy I like to refer to as “The Sperm Donor”.  (Long distance parenting with an ex-….another joy!)  In honor of the next morning’s 7 a.m. flight, we decided to take them out to dinner, and of course, snap a few photos of the travelers.

snack area in store

The “LOOK”

Would you believe me if I told you this was the BEST photo I got? Oh, I see a hand or two waving out there. Thank you!  You must have a teen! The rest of the photos are a mass of swirling hair, waving hands and the backs of two girls ducking under the table. I gave up. The bestie’s mom gave up. We settled for hair photos.

I do sometimes succeed in getting a photo. Don’t get me wrong. After raising two other kids throught their teen years and into college, I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to photographing teenagers.

But if my daughter catches on at all, the final photo inevitably features “that face.”

You know, the “I hate that picture without even seeing it and if you post it I will unfriend you on Facebook.” face. Oh, no wait.  Most of you don’t know.  Your little ones will still pose for snapshots on the beach, photos with Santa, and vacation pictures with mom.

Oh, those were the days!

I know that the day will come when she will once again face the camera with a smile — and even let me share the pictures with cousins and grandmom. But for now, having a teenager has turned me into paparazzi.

I’m serious!  When we’re out, I invariably end up hiding behind trees, around corners and just out of sight in the crowd, all in hopes of snapping a picture that shows more than hair or a scowl!  I’m sure people think I’m some creepy stalker, as I quickly pull my camera out, snap a picture, then hide the phone or camera in my bag! I fully expect a security guard to tap me on the shoulder one day, and ask me to explain my strange behavior.  When that happens, I can only hope they’re a parent of a teenager…

(Lindsay Shugerman is the mom of a teen, two college students, a dog who thinks she’s a person and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When she’s not photo stalking, she’s busy doing SEO and social media.)


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