The spring when I entered kindergarten, one morning, I was standing under the cherry blossoms with my two childhood best friends. It was one of the very first days when we went to kindergarten, and the three of us were all dressed in prettier clothes than usual. The sun was bright in the sky and the pale pink petals were gently falling from the trees above us.
I was feeling great chatting with my best friends in my favourite clothes – a white shirt and a red polka dot skirt – when my mother came running with a camera in her hands. It was long before the time of smart phones, and the one she was holding was a heavy black Nikon film camera. She used to carry it on every special family occasion to capture the memories in photographs.
“Girls, come here quick!” said my mother with a big smile on her face. “I’m going to take a picture of you three. How pretty you all look!”
Having no interest in such a photoshoot, I kept talking with my friends.
“Girls,” called out my mother again, this time with more force. “Please stand there while I take a picture of you!”
I didn’t understand why my mother was so obsessed with taking photos when we were having such a good time chatting under this beautiful weather. As I continued chatting and laughing with my friends, my mother’s angry voice echoed.
“Stop chatting and look here!” My mother specifically called out to me, since I was the one who was being least cooperative with her effort. “Now!”
Noticing that my mother was irritated, I reluctantly turned toward the camera. But of course, I wasn’t smiling.
“Sweetie!” My mother shouted as she finished taking one photograph and prepared for the next. “Smile, please!”
I didn’t like the way I was the only one being picked out in the photoshoot. Moreover, next to my two best friends! That hurt my feeling, and I became really grumpy.
As soon as the photoshoot was over, my mother ran to me with an angry face.
“Why didn’t you smile?” She scolded me. “You were the only one who wasn’t smiling! What a shame!”
Later, the photographs from that morning came out. Indeed, I wasn’t smiling in any of them. In the last one in particular, my grumpy face made such a stark contrast against the gorgeous cherry blossoms in the back and the pretty clothes we were wearing that it was almost funny. In any case, my grumpy face certainly made the morning a truly unforgettable one.