I spent the morning in our crawl space going through box after box looking for old photographs of our kids when they were babies. Anyone beside me have packets full of unmarked photos from forgotten vacations, ancient Christmases, birthdays where you hardly recognize yourself?
Well, I was shocked to discover how thin I used to be! Not only that, but Patrick used to have hair! It’s been so long, I nearly forgot. The kids smiled at the camera with metal braces cemented to their teeth, the dog was still alive and the grandparents looked just about how we do right now. Scary! Time flies is a serious situation. It literally does.
I remember being so light on my feet, I could run like the wind. My cheekbones were prominent and my hair was a long mess of curls and tangles without any grays. We were so young! I held the pictures in my age spotted hands and felt my heart ache. I took a deep breath and held back tears.
There was a time when the kids were small and hung on our legs to be lifted up and loved. Wrapped in our arms was the best place to be. I remember when they listened to every word we said as if we were wise as God. They found comfort and contentment in being within winking distance and were sad when we left for even a few hours, let alone a whole day of work.
Okay…So…Who were those people anyway? I know it wasn’t a dream because I have pictures to prove it. Without them, I could be easily convinced it was all in my head. Does anyone listen to anything I have to say anymore? No. Only the dogs and only if they are bored. Does anyone ask my advise anymore? No. Only if it has something to do with menopause. Does anyone want to borrow a dress or a pair of shoes or anything of mine anymore? No. Only if they’re dressing up for a geriatric costume party.
I don’t think any of us remember the way we used to be. I’m planning to build a shrine to Patrick and I and our lost youth. I will set up an exhibit using an old tie-dyed cloth as the background. I’ll pin up a few items of old hippie keepsakes such as embroidered bell-bottom jeans, old leather headbands, giant earrings with peace signs dangling in the middle. Pictures of us being young and carefree, thin and fit. Then, he and I as young parents with them as tiny children clinging to us for their dear lives; smiling at us, hugging us, adoring us.
That’ll show em. Sometimes it’s good to remind them just exactly where they got the smarts to be such a bunch of smarty pants. Who do they think taught them everything so they would have the right to become such know-it-all’s? Us, of course! They think they’re looking so hot! Well look at these old pictures and see who you look exactly like! Think I’m fat? Well, I used to look just like you! Just look what you all have to look forward to!
Yes-sir-eee. That’ll show em.