Friday, May 22, 2009

Flashback Friday: Time Rewound

You may not recognize the three ladies above...but you have probably guessed that's me with m'girls WAY back in 1987. It was November and we had decided to surprise Mr. H. with a formal portrait of us for Christmas. We made appointments at the wonderful Arthur Mintz studio in Los Gatos. He was quite well known in the Bay Area and had won countless awards for his talents in portraiture. At the time, he was quite an elderly gentleman with a shock of pure white hair. He was present at the shoot; he set up the scenes and posed us and then let one of his assistants release the shutter. Ashley was 11; Alyssa was 7. I was...well, 22 years younger than I am today!

I chose this photo and the ones that follow for this Flashback Friday because I was remembering something that my good friend Rose Wallis told me when Ashley was pregnant with Gracie. I'd been enlightened by so many friends and family members who had already become grandmothers about what a special bond it was between grandmothers and those grandbabies. But Rose's words resonated with me the most. She said that holding your grandchild is like being given another chance to hold your own babies once more. And oh, boy, did she ever nail that one right on the old noggin!

When I look at that picture I remember the girls exactly as they were at that moment. Ashley was venturing into that "tween" time and she borrowed one of my blouses for the photography session. We did her hair into curls pulled back with a bow - not sure how she feels about that "look" today, but she seemed satisfied with it that day. Alyssa on the other hand is showing her mischevious side in this photo. I loved the deep green velvet dress with the white lace collar - but if you could zoom in REAL CLOSE in this photo, I think you'd have caught a little grit beneath those 7-year old fingernails. She was having way too much fun to stand for much of that dress-up nonsense. But she allowed me to get her all girlified for the day.

Now getting back to what my friend Rose said about holding your own children once more through your grandbabies...I've been delighted with the similarities I've seen between Gracie and her mommy. (And who worked out the miracle that Gracie's other grandma sees traces of Jim in Gracie!?!!!) The picture of Ashley, above, was taken at a cabin we rented in Lake Tahoe when Ashley was about Gracie's age. There are countless moments these days when Gracie gets a look in her eye that brings about an instant flashback to 30-some years ago when Ashley was a toddler. And those days of "holding" your child keep on coming...over and over and over again. It's a feeling that's, well...simply beyond great!
Then there are times when you see your child do something you did as a little kid. I found Alyssa having a little pause to refresh from the sprinklers in our backyard when we lived in San Jose. Now I can't explain it, but how GREAT is the cool, clear water that comes straight from the garden hose on a hot summer day? I know it was one of my favorite treats - and the picture below shows how my grandpa found me helping myself to some water from the sprinkler head in his front yard and he came over to give me a hand. I had a very special bond with my grandparents and I hope with all my heart that my grandchildren will - many years from now - remember the bond they had with me as I do of all the special times that I spent with my own grandparents.

Looking closely at this photo, I see we must have had something going on later that day because my hair was all done up in those tight little "pin curls" that my mother used to do on me - a form of torture, I think. She was a stylin' lady back in the day and it was only natural that I be stylin' too :) (And don't ask me what the deal was on the turned up toes in those goofy summer sandals of mine - but I'm thinking that's just how good that refreshing water was - it made my toes curl!)

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