ONE VERY TRUE TELLING PHOTO
I spent today writing captions for the photos that are going to be in my first book. They were mostly family photos. In some cases, they were from very long ago. There was one someone got of me very early in my radio days cueing up a record for airplay. There were a few of my kids and me. We’re putting one in of our old hound Roxy back when she was alive, sitting next to a giant pumpkin I was growing. You know, the usual photo album stuff we all have. Funny though, I found one photo that really got me to thinking. Most folks would have just passed it by but, it hit a chord.
It was a picture of my Mom and me. I couldn’t have been more than three years old when it was taken. I remember Mom getting all prettied up for it. She was doing her hair in the mirror at her vanity table. Lipstick had to be just right. She put on a pretty dress and then she looked at me and said, “Now, it’s your turn. Let’s get you all set. Go into your room and get out of that filthy shirt and your old trousers. I’m going to find your sun suit. Get those shoes off too.”
Earlier Mom had been talking about making cookies so, I didn’t want to cross her. I did as I was told. I was standing in my underpants when she came into my room with the sun suit, a wash cloth, and a brush. Oh my gosh but, I got a going over. It was a regular head to toe scrub down. Soon there I was in my sun suit with my hair brushed and not a speck of dirt on me. Mom stood back to admire her handiwork and smiled. There was a knock at the door.
Some guy was at the door. He was carrying all this stuff. He carried in a whole bunch of funny looking lights and, black boxes with glass on them. He had a briefcase or two. He and Mom talked as he put the stuff all over the living room. He told me he was a photographer.
Pretty soon I was sitting on Moms lap looking at this photographer guy. Mom had her arms around me so, I figured all was well. She tickled me a bit to get me to smile. The guy hollered something about watching a bird. I looked around and didn’t see any bird. In fact, I didn’t see a thing because all these lights were flashing in my face. Whatever the man did it didn’t take too awful long. Soon Mom was telling me that I could get back into my play clothes. That was great because I didn’t really dig the sun suit. It seemed like a dumb thing to wear. I was glad to get out of it.
That was so long ago now. Of the three people in that room that day, I’m the only one left alive. But, I looked at that picture of Mom and me. I guess she kept it on her dressing table the rest of her long life. It’s going to be in the book.
I got to thinking about Mom and how she always there for me with a lap to sit on and arms to hold me. It was great as a kid to have her there when there were spiders in the hallway or, a bully in Kindergarten. She’d just sit down on the sofa, and put her arms out to me as I climbed up into her lap to make it all go away. Whatever it was, if it was bad, it soon was gone.
Sure, when I got older, I didn’t necessarily sit on Moms lap anymore. I got a little too heavy for that kind of thing. So, with age, maybe instead of a cuddle, it might be spaghetti, or a few bucks, or a smile at just the right time. With Mom the door was always open for one kind of hug or another.
I hope your Mom was like mine. If so, you were very lucky indeed.