Clown Fear, No Pictures Please!


“I don’t want to be in this picture either,” I said. 

We were taking a picture because mom was insisting on it. Moms do that sometimes. When her mom told us to pose together for the photo, I saw the look on this 14 year old’s face; the eye roll topped off with practiced indifference. We are standing outside the baseball stadium in public.  She did not want to be seen with me, a clown. 

After I told her that I don’t want to be in the picture, the teen looked back at me. She paused. Several thoughts ran through her mind. First, why is this clown talking to me? Second, did he say that he didn’t want to be in a picture with me? Third, why does the clown not want to take a picture with me?  

I repeated myself, “I don’t want to take this picture…. after all, who wants to be seen with a clown! “ I looked her in the eye, “If I were you, I wouldn’t do it.” For a brief second, we agreed. We bonded. We exchanged a look as if to say. Moms can be so annoying! 

Her look of confusion changed to a smile, then to a laugh. 

Mom is still insisting that we take the picture. We both laugh as we turn to face the camera. She takes a step closer to me and puts her arm around my shoulder. We smile for the camera. While mom is checking her phone to make sure that the picture looks good enough, the teenager turns to me and says, “OK, now juggle for me.”