That’s what a picture is supposed to be worth. So I’ve decided to test that theory and see if I can actually come up with at least that many (thank you word count!) about this picture. Admittedly I’m going to go kind of easy on myself first time out of the gate and choose a picture of two of the brightest lights in my life. So, here goes:
July 30, 2006. They were 13 and 7 when this was taken in the pool at my brother in law’s parents’ house. Both of them will likely kill me for posting this; but I love this picture so I will brave the storm. Brassiness and attitude. That’s my oldest – then and now. She doesn’t have the same hair color though. Silly, funny girl – that’s my baby always. My Girls. The apples of my eye and the bottom of my heart. They still love to swim. Neither one of them wanted me to take this picture – hence the freshness and the funny expression. I can see the genetics passed down from their grandpa – who passed away suddenly 11 months after this was taken. I love the crystal clear blueness of the pool’s water. You can see every little line of every wavelet and ripple. It’s both a cool and a warm picture all at the same time. It reminds me of family vacations and the wet, but not unpleasant – smell of towels and suits hanging on the railing to dry; ready for use again the next day (or a half hour after supper – if you were me). Why can’t you go in the water right after you eat? I’ve always wondered if this was a wives tale, or if it was just something moms tell their children so they can relax from lifeguard duty for at least a half hour. I’ve always loved the water.
Summertime. Carefree fun time. Summer is the best time to be a kid. To be outdoors for hours at a time and able to enjoy yourself for weeks on end. Chasing fireflies at dusk. Sure beats being an adult! There were other people in the pool at that moment certainly, kids mostly – as you would expect. Adults in chaise lounges poolside. The quiet hum of conversation punctuated by joyful screams and splashing. An occasional breeze wafting the delicious smells of barbeque through the back yard; and the clink of ice melting in glasses. Music from the stereo indoors competing with the muted roar of jet engines from a plane high overhead, and the dog barking down the street. A Sunday in summertime- and the living is easy. Especially when you are 13 and even more so when you are 7.
It was my oldest niece’s birthday celebration. She was turning sweet sixteen the following day. She’s 21 now. All grown up and ready to graduate from UConn. She’s getting married next year. Time flies. I think you are never more conscious of that fact than in the summer. You have time to relax and catch up with relatives and friends that you only see on vacations or holidays. The changes you note in them make you more aware of time’s passing. We all take mental pictures of our loved ones and keep them filed away. It comes as something of a shock to actually see them once some time has gone by. I’m looking at this picture as I write – and I feel like I could reach through it and touch them. It wasn’t so long ago really. I can hear their laughter in my head. I can hear that laughter – now, more grown up – in the living room behind me- as they goof around with their dad and try to distract me. Do they suspect what I am doing? And, are they diabolically plotting to keep me from my self appointed task?
My baby is the same age now that her sister was when I took this photo. I feel there’s a certain symmetry to that and its important for me to say so, but I can’t really explain why. It sort of feels like I selected them, clicked shift, and moved them into the next six year period of their lives. Weird, huh? I guess that’s what I did in a way, come to think of it. Anyway, she’s taller than her sister at that age. Almost as tall as me now. Pretty soon I’ll be the short one in the family. Time flies. My oldest has grown from sassy teen to a confident, tough as nails, beautiful young woman in college. I get quite nostalgic. *Sniff. Waahh!
I miss my LITTLE girls. The ones who wanted to hang out with me and Daddy. We did things as a foursome usually. Back then-Dad and I were cool. These days the older one is off with her friends or working when she’s not in school. We’ve taken several family weekends away with just our youngest and it never feels right. We actually have to plan family time cuz it doesn’t just happen anymore. The whole empty nest thing is approaching at warp speed and I’m nowhere near ready to even think about that – never mind deal with it. This picture makes me want to scoop them up, dry them off, tuck them into bed and read them a story. I think maybe “Where the Wild Things Are” – Yep, that’ll do it. I remember that neither one of them stayed awake for long on the ride home. Thank goodness I thought to bring jammies for the little one. She changed before we left for home so all we had to do was plop her into bed when we got back. Moms have to think ahead, yanno? I may or may not have fallen asleep on the way home myself – no comment.
Fifty six more words to go as of that last paragraph. A thousand words is a lot! This took me more time than I anticipated, so I hope its been worth it. Its certainly been fun! I think about the time that has passed between when this photograph was taken and now – and all that has happened in those six years. A whole lifetime practically. Terrible, bad, good and great things have happened since I pointed my Sony 5mp at my girls in a pool on a lazy summer Sunday at the end of July in 2006 and took a picture. But that’s how it goes, right?