A mother’s memories: snapping photos all senior year

A mother’s memories: snapping photos all senior year

NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - A Tri-State mother is taking senior pictures to a whole new level. With her phone in hand, she’s having fun documenting every step of her son’s final year of high school. And when she forgets, she’s got back up.

Adam Harpenau is a senior at Castle high school. His mom has made it her mission to take a picture of him every day throughout this school year. It has turned into a little game of cat and mouse with even the law getting involved.

Senior year can be busy between school, planning the future, and extracurricular activities such as sports.

“I just want to capture every moment of it, so that’s why I’m doing this," Jennifer Harpenau said.

For her son, Adam Harpenau, it’s football. He’s a cornerback for the Castle Knights. Immediately after a full day of classes and practice this week, he rushed over to the soccer fields and stood along the fence to cheer on the women’s squad.

“There’s people I’ve got to go watch, and friends I’ve got to go watch and support them,” Adam explained. "They always support me.”

His family was sitting in the stands behind him. Adam’s mom, Jennifer, started a tradition on the first day of his senior year by making him pose with a homemade sign.

“He didn’t even read it,” Jennifer smiled. “He just went with it. He held it up. I took his picture and he was not smiling, of course.”

Snagging a still photo of him every day has not been an easy feat. She has had to get creative.

“I’ve hidden in his Jeep one day,” Jennifer recalled. “He thought I was already leaving for school. I realized his Jeep was a very stinky football Jeep. I’ve hidden in the snack closet.”

Jennifer posts her successes on Facebook. On the days she struggles, the community steps up.

While Adam was sitting at a local fast food restaurant, Jennifer’s friend snapped a pic.

“I saw them take the picture and I thought, why are they taking a picture of me,” Adam asked.

Perhaps the sneakiest stunt was getting the police involved.

“I turned out of my neighborhood and I see lights, and I’m thinking well, I didn’t do anything wrong,” Adam said. “I was kind of mad about that, really mad about that, so I just pulled over and he pulled me over.”

Warrick County Sheriff Michael Wilder is a family friend.

"As I walked up to him, he did recognize me,” Sheriff Wilder said. “I’m not sure he knew exactly what was going on, but as I pulled the camera up I think he knew real quick what was going on.”

Instead of asking for license and registration, the sheriff simply asked for a smile.

“He’s a great kid,” Wilder added. “He’s got good spirits. If you saw the one photo, he smiled and had fun with it.”

Nearly 50 days are down, but more than 100 are left to go.

"Waiting for what’s next, I never know with her,” Adam laughed.

Just to be clear, the sheriff says Adam didn’t violate any traffic laws. He just wanted to make sure he was safe on his way to school.

As for next year, Adam tells 14 News he plans to go to college and study law.

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