Secondborn scanned several of my photo albums a few years ago. She was kind enough to send the pictures of her and Firstborn, taken at Dad’s 80th birthday party at my sister’s near Seattle, back in 1985. There is also a picture of Middlest, who turned two that weekend, but she couldn’t locate it, so I will have to dig through my boxes so she can re-scan it.
The dresses are adapted from a pattern by Marinda Stewart. She was Marinda Brown back then.
From the size and shape, I think that these were originally Polaroids. Dad had a Polaroid camera, and so did we. I don’t remember which of us took these, but Dad wouldn’t mind my publishing them [if he were still here with us], so that takes care of permissions.
Here is Firstborn, about a week before her seventh birthday.
And here is Secondborn at four and a half.
These are pictures from just before life began to be very difficult for us. Two decades later, I can see the sadness behind Firstborn’s beautiful eyes. I was pregnant with Fourthborn, their father was doing contract programming, and we were about to acquire our first goat, Benetta. I was making wall quilts on commission and had participated in a two-woman show at the local art association's gallery that was the best-attended show they had ever had [chiefly due to the fact that everybody in our ward came to see us and signed the guest book].
One of my post-baptism roommates was about to move to Texas and into our ward. We had married within six weeks of one another. I had conspired with her to get our newly-assigned home teacher in our student ward to ask her out, and the rest is history. My first date with the children’s father was the night of my former roommate’s wedding reception. [And yes, I married him just six weeks later.]
She and I were not speaking at that point, so I deliberately skipped her reception, and she mine. It was lovely to have a chance to forgive one another our transgressions against civility, and we had about a year and a half of sheer rollicking fun until her husband lost his job and they moved back to Idaho.
Her oldest and Firstborn were like those hugging monkeys with the Velcroed wrists. And her older son, who was about six months older than Secondborn, carried a torch for that one for at least ten years. [Her first husband, like my second, wrecked his life by the twin evils of diabetes and stubbornness. Hers endured progressive amputations and eventually died; mine is a shell of the man he used to be.]
She has since remarried and has four step-children and a daughter with an excellent man who is a builder in every sense of the word. I really like him [although I really liked her first husband until he became psychotic, but it's been 15+ years with hubby #2, who shows no signs of following suit.]
And as for me, I will not knowingly marry a man who is diabetic. I know there are men who have it who manage their health responsibly [Brother Sushi among them], and that I might be needlessly ruling out men who would be good matches otherwise, but that is one of the first questions I ask when there seems to be mutual interest. It is absolutely a deal-breaker as far as I am concerned, unless and until the man is accompanied by an angelic escort who smacks me upside the head with his trumpet and says this one.
Time for some happy talk. Knitting. Let’s talk about knitting. I finished the gusset increases on Firestarter last night! And there is bound to be more knitting throughout the day, and possibly a nap.
I am now going to find my yoga pants [clean] and my sports bra [ditto] and go play at the YMCA for awhile. LittleBit is still sleeping, and will probably sleep all morning. Can’t wait to hear how last night’s performance went, and can’t wait for the monthly dinner with the aforementioned Brother Sushi and then watching LittleBit and Co. on-stage tonight, surrounded by friends and ward members and much of my family.
[I haven’t forgotten my promise to finish sharing my conversion story.]
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!