Spaghetti Face

A rite of passage in our family is when a child is old enough to feed himself that first spaghetti dinner. Generally speaking, this happens around the time of a child’s first birthday; in fact, spaghetti was, and still remains, the most requested birthday dinner for the children in the family, regardless of age.

For some reason, this was one of my father’s favorite things to do. He’d get the camera ready, knowing a baby was going to be fed the wonder food of the ages. He’d encourage the chaos of eating those long, tomato sauce drenched noodles.

Once said child was covered from head to toe with spaghetti sauce and stray noodles, the “Spaghetti Face” portrait was taken. Giggles were had by all witnesses, and Dad could hardly wait to get the pictures developed.

We children had our pictures taken, and continued the tradition with our own kids. It was always fun to look back at the first spaghetti dinner experience.

As I said: a rite of passage.

I loved the fact that several of the photos of my own kids were taken by my father. He got such a kick out of it.

Recently, I realized that somehow, the tradition has been lost. I have grandchildren now, and don’t have a single spaghetti-faced pose of any of them.

This is unacceptable!

I spent a few days going through old photographs, scanning the spaghetti faces and sending them to my kids with little notes: “Remember this? Why don’t you take some of your kids and send them to me?”

One daughter shot back this note: “My kid is twenty-one. Do you think I can get her to pose NOW?”


I love a challenge.

This morning I scanned spaghetti-faced photos of myself, my siblings and my kids. I sent them in messages to all the grandchildren. My note: “Your parents have neglected you. Spaghetti face photos are mandatory in this family. Please recreate the photos they should have taken of you at this age and send them to me. It will be the perfect Christmas present!”

And now, I wait…

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