Thursday, March 27, 2008

Stories Repeated

When my mother saw this picture:

2/9/08 New Years Hugs

She immediately thought of this picture, of me and my first "best friend" Hema:

The photograph is dated summer 1974, which makes me 2.5 (as Ada is in the prior picture). The note on the back of the photo says "To My Nora, From Hemi".

Hema is someone I remember only as stories. Stories about how cute we were, how close we were, how sad we were when my family moved away. As a memory, she is more important to my mother than she is to me. She is tied into my mother's memory of the toddler Nora, a person I can not know.

I understand my mother's nostalgia for this picture and the girls in it. I already sigh over pictures of Ada from last year, heck, sometimes from last month. The pictures are tied to memories, and I am sure that like my mother, I will be repeating to Ada the stories of her early years, telling her about her early interest in word play or the first time she drew a circle.

The stories of our childhoods are not our own, but they still shape us. I know that Hema loved me, that I liked to sit on Paula's dad's motorcycle, that I was quick to speak and slow to stop sucking my thumb. These are facts of my life, and I hope to be a faithful reporter to Ada about the big things, but also about the small milestones of her life that are so easy to forget but so important to us both as they happen.

4 comments:

  1. That's awfully sweet.

    I find that I use my blog as a memory device...I have to get on the stick about finding a way to print it out.

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  2. Soooo sweet. Both pictures. Beautiful children.

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  3. (un)relaxeddad3/30/2008 3:17 PM

    Mine are away over the weekend. Now I *really* miss them.

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  4. I grapple with the impermanence of my daughters days. I think we will sign off on our nanny soon and I worry that our kids with swiftly move on; effortlessly casting aside an otherwise intimate relation.

    It affronts my sense of loyalty.

    But more than that I envy their appetites.

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