The apple never falls far from the tree.
My mother used to say that a lot. Mostly it was in reference to children’s bad habits that mimic the bad habits of the parents but not always.
The past few months I have been wrestling with a family picture project. I have blogged about it. I have two shoeboxes full of old photos of my parents, their siblings and a very few of my grandparents. That’s all, just two shoeboxes to cover 50 years.
Many of the photos are taken from a distance and are blurry. On some the face is in a shadow. There are wrinkles (on the photos not the faces) and blotches. Not the best photos. None of them would even get an honorable mention at an exhibition of old photos.
The project itself has brought back many wonderful memories and with that comes wistful longing for those days. It was my childhood which was mostly good. (Hey, I can’t complain about bad hair days when I was a child, can I?)
Summer picnics, big parties, kegs of root beer (and other stuff which I wasn’t allowed to touch), hot dogs and all kinds of wonderful ethnic food.
There were a few surprises. My Dad was a very handsome man. He died when I was ten so to me he was just Dad. In looking at pictures of him when he was young, he was pretty gorgeous.
My Mom didn’t like her picture taken. That means I don’t have a lot of pictures of her. She was not a thin person – not overly big – just large enough that photos weren’t complimentary. That is a real shame. To me, my mother was beautiful but I have so few photos to admire.
I am always amazed at how young all these aunts and uncles were once. I know that sounds silly but when your memory is of folks in the 60s and 70s and 80s looking their age (or older), you forget that they were once….well….young.
Here are my parents with my oldest brother, circa winter 1929.
The worst part is that I have so few pictures. Many people especially women start to hide from pictures as they age. They will take thousands of photos of their children but run from the camera. Why?
Maybe we see ourselves as we were around age 25. Maybe it’s the recognition of aging. Maybe we’re nuts. (I vote for that one.) The ultimate shame is that there are no pictures for children and grandchildren to remember.
About that apple, just like my mother, I don’t like my picture taken either. For me it’s not about weight but that flat two-dimensional photo doesn’t look like what I see in the mirror. In decades to come when someone else is trying to put together a photo album, I probably won’t be in it!
In order to be helpful I am posting three pictures of me. They are also not great photos. The last one has my new eye makeup (yes, I know you can’t see it!) This should do for posterity.