Wednesday, May 02, 2007

See, i do exist.


A few....well...a very few, have asked me to post a photo of myself. Here it is. I look pretty good for almost 50 huh?
I think this picture is from first grade. My mother has mis-labeled it on the back as if i were 10 years old at the time, but this is NOT the picture of a 10 year old.
Look at those California induced freckles. Look at that plastic headband. My eyebrows are still about this thick. The funny thing about that is that of the Mister, Em and me, i have the bushiest eyebrows. We refer to ourselves as "eyebrow-impaired."
This picture hurts me to look at. I looked so innocent. I was so innocent. This was the little girl who would squeal over clouds flying by, who would dig a hole in the side of a sandy cliff and put a tiny pillow in the hole so that a mouse could sleep there.
This is the little girl who was too trusting of a neighbor boy, and whose parents did not take good enough care of her.
This is the little girl who would climb up on the roof of the house with a book and some mashed potato flakes in a paper cup and spend dreamy hours alone there.
This is the little girl who was encouraged to make fun of her older brother.
This is the little girl who worried over what disaster would next befall her.
This is the little girl who grew up, way up, and became a strong, interesting woman, with many insecurities, who lives a good life anyway.
update: I think all you commenters are right, as was my mother. I was 9 in this photo, not 6.

59 comments:

Nancy Dancehall said...

She sure did. Brava!

Yay! Now I'll be able to recognize you next week! :-)

Chili Pepper said...

Hey Meno - yes you have it right - you grew into a strong woman, that lives a good life, who misses/wishes her parents...

Enjoy your Mister and Em...

as always, smiles!

Mama P said...

If you're as beautiful as you were then, no wonder you don't post photos. You can't handle any more stalkers in your life.

Bob said...

It can be hard looking at pictures from that age. We are so full of wonder, and hope, and our view of the world is free of the filter of our pain and disappointments. Everything is ahead of us with no thoughts of failure.

And then school starts, and the real world comes crashing in......

SUEB0B said...

You were such a pretty little thing.

Lynn said...

What a wonderful picture of such a beautiful child. (at least your hair is neat in this picture, my 5th grade picture has my hair going every which way).

Regardless of your life's experiences, they have all come together to make you who you are today...a strong, loving wife/mother/friend.

alphawoman said...

You know what....you do look like you are 10 in that picture. Sure, the innocence is there, but also a little bit of the cockiness of a 10 year old. I think we were in fourth grade before we had any pictures taken. But, my fav's are the porgression of my daughters school pictures!

Sober Briquette said...

I can't catch my breath.

My little daughter is waiting upstairs to get ready for school, so I'll comment more later.

mrschili said...

I wouldn't be so sure that this isn't the picture of a ten year old. Being in the immediate physical presence of a ten year old on a regular basis, I can say that with some authority. It may be that your mother didn't mislabel the picture.

It is a wonder that we grow up as well as some of us do, given the kind of runway to adulthood we traveled, isn't it?

I can't tell from the picture, but are you a redhead? If so, our spirits seem to get more kindred all the time....

Sienna said...

Meno! Welcome to the freckle club, once I tried to join all the dots up, (crikey that took some washing off).

Courageous and a gorgeous little girl...look at her with all the love you can muster in your heart...she deserves it..

Dreams are good, nobody ever takes our dreams from us, they are ours...

You did real well Meno, great soul and spirit..

Pam

d-man said...

My mother used to cut my hair. That's why I don't like looking at my childhood photos. :)

Tracy said...

Hmmm... I was thinking that you look more like 10 here too. Anyway, beautiful eyes, they go right through to your soul. And I love the freckles, though I am guessing you maybe didn't so much.

Childhood photos can be so deceptive concerning happiness. Our family photos look all happy and smiling, however in real life it was anything but.

Mother of Invention said...

I've taught many gr. 1-4 classes and I'd say that is Gr. 3 or 4 which here, is 9 and 10. (If you were smiling, the teeth would tell the tale..Gr. 1..baby teeth,Gr. 2..no teeth and grins like pumpkins, Gr. 3...awkward spaced adult teeth!)

There is something refreshing about looking at old pictures...I sometimes lament though,the fact that then, nothing bad was really on my slate...no health problems or worries...and I wish sometimes that we could start the tape from there again and take our chance that it would have unfolded differently...but then again, it could have been far worse and I wouldn't have evolved into the person I am,who I rather like.

I had the same headbands, plastic and stretchy cloth, in all colours!
You look like the kind of kid I'd love to have in my class! (And the kind of grown-up I'd like to know!)

Lisa said...

What a sweetly beautiful portrait.
Thanks for sharing it.

Sanjay said...

Lovely picture and I salute the strong independent woman (insecurities included)

jen said...

oh. she's perfect. the freckles. i never pictured freckles.

she's he girl who would stop by just to pet your cat on her way to school, her hands very gentle and her eyes only a tiny bit sad when she looks at you.

Toni said...

This is the little girl who grew up to be a world class mother and inspiration to her friends.


You were so adorable!

Jennifer said...

I LOVE this. More than words.

You look just like I thought you would. :-)

liv said...

This is a beautiful photo of a girl who grew up to be a friend and comfort to countless! x.

Maggie said...

Wanna be BFF? Cause you know, you look like a nice fun girl.

gr said...

Very bright looking eyes!
Did you say you still have freckles?

meno said...

nancy, you will, as i still look EXACTLY like this.
I had a dream last night about meeting. I guess i am anxious.

chili pepper, "wishes/misses her parents" - what a great way to state how i feel.

mamap, of COURSE i am still that beautiful. Except for some grey hairs, and many wrinkles. :)

bob, right you are. well said.

suebob, thanks. I think most (not all) little kids are cute. Then they grow up. Ever look at someone and you just can't imagine that they were ever a baby?

lynn, i had to laugh at your comment about my hair. My mother looked at this picture when it first came home and asked why i hadn't fixed my hair.

alphawoman, i think you may be right. If her date is correct, i would have been 9.

de, it kind of breaks my heart to look at her.

mrs.chili, i think you are right about the age, too much cheekbone. I am a redhead, not in reality, but in spirit. I always wanted red hair, but i am too lazy to get and maintain it. :)

Gotta go take the kid to school now, more answers later. :)

Joan said...

OMG...do we all look so innocent in our school photos? I am so glad that this cute young thing grew up to be a strong, confident woman living a good life.

Tink said...

Weren't we all painfully innocent then? I love the person you are, and have become because of, well... everything. :)

Jeremiah said...

Funny, I SEE the strong woman in that little girl's face.

Irrelephant said...

Freckles. Wonderful! We all still carry a part of the child that we were around in us, like the first rings inside the trunk of a huge oak tree spreading it's branches all around. I'm glad you still remember that little girl.

And at least you were a pretty little girl! I cringe to see myself at those ages now.

Susanne said...

Of course we knew that you exist.

Wait. You mean that gargoyle on your profile is not you?

Oops.

meno said...

Pam, those freckles have faded, but they are still there. I never tried to connect them, but it was always a temptation.

d-man, my mother DIDN'T cut my hair, that's why it looks like this.

tracy, i was okay with the freckles. This photo, which i have reconsidered the age on, i think you are right, was the last year where i was an un-selfconscious child.

moi, it is poignant isn't it? Did you also use your headbands as frisbees?

lisa, :)

sanjay, thank you. We all have the insecurities to one degree or another, part of the human condition.

jen, she was perfect, freckles and all. :) And i still love cats.

toni, makes you wonder why we can't stay that sweet and cute. Sigh.

jennifer, it evokes something in me too. I just found these last year after not seeing them for years.

liv, you are sweet to say that. I don't feel overly friended, but i have more than i realize too.

maggie, sure! You any good at hopscotch?

gr, i do still have freckles, but they are faded from years of hats and sunscreen.

meno said...

joan, go back and look at yours and let us know. It'll be fun!

tink, we were all so innocent, well, most of us.

jeremiah, huh. Really? I just see open-faced innocence. And a touch of sad. I guess she must be there somewhere. :)

irrelephant, MAJOR freckles! In the years after this, the ugly glasses, crooked teeth and horrid haircuts obscure the girl underneath.

susanne, that gargoyle IS me. It's what that girl above turned into. :)

patches said...

Eyebrow impaired? LOL. Are your eyes blue? This picture has animal advocate all over it. I see a quiet confidence in her expression, mixed with innocence.

I have NEVER looked innocent in my entire life.

Mona Buonanotte said...

I could pick you out in a crowd now!

That was a beautiful post...sad and poignant and I love it!

There's something in the photo of you that looks like it's gonna kick ass someday. Like you're doing now. Like you always could.

sari said...

"This is the little girl who grew up, way up, and became a strong, interesting woman, with many insecurities, who lives a good life anyway."

I think a person who can say this does live a good life.

I love your picture. I always ended up with the pigtails in one long curl...longer each year of course, but still pretty Brady just the same. But brown, not lovely gold like the Brady girls. How does a brown haired girl end up being a California girl anyway? ha ha

deb said...

You look like a beautiful young girl. Innocence is a part of growing up, just like wisdom is.

Princess in Galoshes said...

Damn. You were a way cuter nine-year-old than I was. But I actually think I was more cynical then, than I am now. Bizarre, huh?

Good post, in any case. I was always too scared to climb onto the roof, but I always wanted to!

thailandchani said...

Wow.. you have aged exceptionally well! :)

I don't have any pictures of me when I was nine... probably a good thing, all told ..


Peace,


~Chani

Antonia said...

Wow. You're really beautiful!

Ortizzle said...

i posted a whole paragraph and it went down the tubes, i so hate blogspot, oops, i meant blogSOD, with a passion.

love the pic. i too am eyebrow impaired. but imagine my case: the few hairs i do have are also turning white.

Maggie said...

I'm great at hopscotch and skip rope and Chinese jump rope but I'm terrible at double dutch. Oh and I kick butt at four square. How bout you?

Caro said...

Wow. What a knock-out you must be!

TTQ said...

If you were a cat you would be one of those golden orange tabbys. Active beautiful eyes and a great chesire grin (which is hidden behind a demure smile here).

I used to have white blonde hair as a kitten, now it's brunnette odd..huh? And my freckles have faded and seem to be more of a skin tone now.. I guess I've mellowed with age. Though my eyes still untouched.

Lucia said...

What to say after it feels like all is already said. Strong. Beautiful. You.

meno said...

patches, i have green eyes. C'mon, let us be the judge, post a picture of yourself at 9 or so.

mona, i bet you could pick me out too! And thank you.

sari, i think you are right! My mom used to rinse my hair with lemon juice to try and make me be a blonde, but alas, i am just a dull brown.

deb, if i was not innocent at that age, it would have been sad.

princess, i need to see photographic proof of the young you before i can agree. I LOVED the roof. I was all alone up there.

chani, it must be all that good livin'! Oh i wish you did have a picture, i would love to see it.

antonia, WAS, the key word here is WAS!

ortizzle, funny, i haven't had any trouble with blogger in ages. I'm sorry, that is so damn frustrating. Mine aren't grey yet, i suppose that humiliation will come.

maggie, I loved foursquare! Jump rope was cool too, and i did eventually learn how to do double dutch. It's a deal!

caro, nope, just a normal looking, albeit taller than usual, woman.

ttq, i wanna be a grey cat. Grey like mist. But an orange tabby is a very close second. I was very blond when i was younger than this, but my hair turned brown by the time i was 5 or 6.

lucia, Do you have any pictures of the girl you? I'd love to see them.

QT said...

ACK! I get busy and I miss all the fun!

Your pic looks eerily like my friend Sandy when she was that age. I can see the independence back there. And also the vulnerability. Thanks for sharing - what a cool photo.

Joan said...

I did as you asked and went back and looked at my school photos. Geez...I may have been innocent looking but mostly I was just plain geeky. No wonder I despised the fact that my dad carried all my school photos in his wallet and showed them to people even after I'd become an adult. Ugh!

Dick said...

That is a nice photo. I have been looking through some of my older ones recently and I sure wish we had done a better job of dating them. It really is hard to remember for sure just when certain ones were taken.

GEWELS said...

How cute are those freckles?

If only to retain some of that innocence yet be as wise as our years have made us. Impossible?

Beautiful eyes, too!

holly said...

I always wished I had freckles, and a big brother, instead of a stupid little brother. I really can't complain, because he grew into a real good guy, and sounds better than yours does at times. I still sometimes wish for the freckles, though. it sounds like we had pretty similar childhoods, with the neighbor and inattentive supervision, and all...

Sober Briquette said...

I'm still speechless. I just love ya to pieces.

I didn't know this is what you look(ed) like, from the portion of your wrist that I studied in the asian market post.

I always thought those sort of freckles were hereditary, not solely sun-induced. My face is not freckled, but my arms and shoulders look like that. My mother always says, "where did those come from?" as though she never saw them before.

meno said...

qt, nope, you are still here for the fun.

joan, oh, please post one! I was geeky too. This one picture seems to have missed that. I dunno why.

dick, amazing for a "school picture" huh? I always think i;ll remember when a picture was taken, but i don't.

gewels, thank you. :) I have always liked freckles too.

holly, I hope that what happened to me with the neighbor boy did not happen to you. And if it did, you are not the only one.

de, hi honey. I love you too. You belong with us, just give in and accept it. Maybe she's not the real mother! :)

lu said...

Beautiful.

Antonia said...

Meno, the key word is definitely ARE.

Caro said...

I hope someday to be able to judge for myself. Skinny-dipping anyone? :)

egan said...

Late to the party here, but it's nice to see your mug shot.. even if you were nine. It's weird to look back and be transformed to the time when the photo was changed. When you look at your own photo, sometimes it feels like you look identical to today, yet years have passed. Thanks for sharing Meno. You're pretty damn cute in the picture.

AC said...

This is a beautiful picture! I am sooo jealous. When I was 9 and my picture was taken the day after my mother both cut and permed my hair, it went on to win ugly contests among my college girlfriends.

That thing I said about taking a hiatus? That isn't gonna last. I got a fun tag and if I can get it finished fast enough, I'm tagging you next.

meno said...

lu, thank you. Poor kid didn't know what was coming. None of us did.

antonia, STOP THIS RIGHT NOW! You know how i am about taking complimemts! Ooops, i mean, thank you. :)

caro, swimming should be done in the skinny as often as possible in life.

egan, i still look exactly like that. No. Really. I do. Stop rolling your eyes at me young man!

ac, i had those years too. It just happened that no one had gotten a hold of me at that time.

Anonymous said...

Amazing picture. We should all be so innocent at that age. It's part of our birth-right! Cece

heartinsanfrancisco said...

You are so beautiful! I am sure you still are. Some things never change.

What a treat! Thanks for sharing this.

Does Em look like you? I think I remember your saying in a previous post that she resembles her dad more.

meno said...

hearts, she does resemble me, but also her dad, about 50-50. She has my nose and face shape, but her daddy's toes. :)

urban-urchin said...

Okay- not to make everything about me- but you look remarkably like my daughter in your 9 year old pic. I just showed my husband and his reaction was WHOA!

Not for nothing but you're very beautiful (both of you!)