So, hey. Guess what? It's my birthday on the 16th. I'll be recycling some old photos just for the occasion. As far as I'm concerned, you can never have enough old photos on blogs. If any of you want to feel free to post pics from your childhood or your parent's childhood, I promise to make a big stinking deal about it and oooooh! and aaaaah! all over them.
So, here's me destroying my sister's doll at one of my dad's studios. I'm not sure how old I was, but even then you could tell there was no hope of me ever growing into my cheeks.
Here is a photo of my mom and my oldest sister.
I am now the age my mom was when she died. It's weird to finally get here. I have no idea how my mom would have aged after this point, but she looked way better than I did at any other age, so maybe she isn't the best aging marker for me. My mom didn't have me until she was 33, which was pretty old in 1965, especially when we lived in Mormontown Arizona where all the other moms had their kids before they were out of high school.
I was my mom's last baby. Her blood pressure was out of control even at that young age, and she was basically told that if she had any more children, she could die. Hey, so I broke the mold, so what? I will say that I was very lucky to have my mom as long as I did. I'm sure you won't be too shocked when I tell you that I was one of those overly sensitive Cancer children who's feelings were constantly hurt. My mom used to say things like, "Here let me do it. That way I can't yell at you if it doesn't work out right." I loved that, because when I was young, I thought I was the only person in the world who made mistakes, and I would stress about it and there was my mom admitting that she did too.
Here's me at my dad's studio when I still had red hair. As I recall, this was taken shortly before he disappeared. I also have a vague memory that my dad threw me a surprise birthday party when I turned 4 and he would have been gone about a month after that, but you'll have to ask my siblings. They're older and remember that time better. I have a hard time sorting out the things that really happened back then, from the world I created in my head. In other words, I haven't changed a bit since I was four...Except I don't have quite as much red in my hair anymore.
Here's me when we lived in Alsip, Illinois. I think I was eleven here. (Please try hard not to be jealous of my denim wrap-around skirt) It must have been about a year after my mom died. I like to call the time after my mom died until I turned eighteen, my Dickensian years. No one called me Pip or Oliver and there was no Miss Havisham or Artful Dodger, but there were plenty of other similarities. The one thing I can say about those bad times is, that in comparison, my life now is almost perfect.
Every year I say that I'm so much happier than I've ever been, but I'd like to stop aging right here. Then I get another year older and things are that much better still. It's not so much that bad things have stopped happening to me, it's more that I'm getting so much better at dealing with them and putting things in perspective. Plus, I'm not nearly as hard on myself as I was in the past. So, now I'm thinking that this whole aging thing isn't so bad and I might as well just find out how much better my life can keep getting. Forty-three? Fuck yeah. Bring it on.