Sunday, May 14, 2006

For Mother's Day: mothers and babies







Okay, who are these three dark beauties?

A hint: one of them is the very first picture you've ever seen on this blog of neo-neocon, sans apple. Not that you'd recognize me, of course. Even my own mother might not recognize me from this photo.

My own mother, you say? Of course she would. Ah, but she's here too, looking a bit different than she does today--Mother's Day--at ninety-two years of age. Just a bit; maybe her own mother wouldn't recognize her, either.

Her own mother? She's the one who's all dressed up, with longer hair than the rest of us.

The photo of my grandmother was taken in the 1880's; the one of my mother in the teens of the twentieth century; and the one of me, of course, in the 1950s.

Heredity, ain't it great? My mother and grandmother are both sitting for formal portraits at a professional photographer's studio, but by the time I came around amateur snapshots were easy to take with a smallish Brownie camera. My mother is sitting on the knee of her own grandfather, my grandmother's father, a dapper gentleman who was always very well-turned out. I'm next to my older brother, who's reading a book to me but is cropped out of this photo. My grandmother sits alone in all her finery.

We all not only resemble each other greatly in our features and coloring, but in our solemnity. My mother's and grandmother's seriousness is probably explained by the strange and formal setting; mine is due to my concentration on the book, which was Peter Pan (my brother was only pretending to read it, since he couldn't read yet, but I didn't know that at the time). My mother's resemblance to me is enhanced by our similar hairdos (or lack thereof), although hers was short because it hadn't really grown in yet, and mine was short because she purposely kept it that way (easier to deal with).

My grandmother not only has the pretty ruffled dress and the long flowing locks, but if you look really closely you can see a tiny earring dangling from her earlobe. When I was young, she showed me her baby earrings; several miniature, delicate pairs. It astounded me that they'd actually pierced a baby's ears (and that my grandmother had let the holes close up later on, and couldn't wear pierced earrings any more), whereas I had to fight for the right to have mine done in my early teens.

I'm not sure what my mother's wearing; some sort of baby smock. But I know what I have on: my brother's hand-me-down pajamas, and I was none too happy about it, of that you can be sure.

So, a very happy Mother's Day to you all! What would mothers be without babies...and mothers...and babies....and mothers....?

12 Comments:

At 7:42 AM, May 14, 2006, Blogger Alexandra said...

Thank you for sharing, you look gorgeous...Happy Mothers Day!

I already got hijacked by my precious jewel this morning, so posting will be an interesting proposition...

 
At 7:46 AM, May 14, 2006, Blogger Sissy Willis said...

You and I are mothers and daughters to each other, I think. 'Love you big time.

 
At 10:18 AM, May 14, 2006, Blogger MrsWhatsit said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:24 AM, May 14, 2006, Blogger MrsWhatsit said...

I deleted my first comment because I wasn't clear. The family resemblance in these pictures is so striking that I can actually see the connection between your grandmother's picture and your adult apple portrait. Go back and forth between your grandmother's eyes in that lovely picture and what little shows of your eye past that apple. No question at all!

Happy Mother's Day.

 
At 11:30 AM, May 14, 2006, Blogger ShrinkWrapped said...

Since mrswhatsit mentioned the familial resemblance and since no one else has commented on this, and someone has to, I'll take the fall:
Obviously, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

 
At 5:03 PM, May 14, 2006, Blogger rickl said...

I recently took my cats to a professional photographer for formal portraits.

Does that say something about the progress of technology, affluence, or just my ineptitude with a camera?

 
At 9:46 PM, May 14, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

What a cute little girl you were! The top picture is my favorite.

 
At 11:38 PM, May 14, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

There's something endlessly curious about seeing the echoes of the present in the past in old photos. It's fascinating, and yet irrelevant, since intellectually, we know that it is the act of parenting, not the genetics that make a parent...

 
At 1:57 AM, May 15, 2006, Blogger Vigilante said...

Happy Mothers Day

 
At 3:35 AM, May 15, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

There are two things that come from this for me.

The first is Mrs Whatsit's comment which I heartily endorse.

The second is the huge importance of photographs - no matter how inane they might seem, they tell a story of somebody or something. They are a continuing archive that no other civilisation has had available to it.

Do not EVER throw out an album, or a negative - no matter how silly it might seem...

 
At 6:51 PM, May 15, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I first thought Neo's grandmother was the picture of Neo, because of the bone structure and shape of the face.

 
At 2:23 AM, May 19, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Amen, probligo.

I like nothing more than going over to my parents or my in-laws and pulling out the boxes of photos. This inevitably leads to a couple hours of random memory access, and somehow, no matter how many times we've seen some photos before, some new story always seems to come out. I've learned a great deal about my parents in this way- wouldn't trade those hours for anything.

 

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