I sit here on a Saturday, early afternoon, listening only to the teen flick movie that I am not embarrassed to say, I am actually choosing to watch.  It is about a bunch of teen aged cheerleaders and brings back memories of my cheer leading days.  Probably my last good years before I decided my decisions were my own and proceeded to attempt to lead my own life, sans an education, parents or money.  But that is a whole other post, if not blog!

With my husband taking my two oldest to get their hair cuts and my baby in her crib sleeping, my three ring circus has been quieted.  A rarity I plan on taking full advantage of… by sitting, on my hiney, eating Captain Crunch, and blogging.  A very good use of my time, in my opinion.  I am under direct order from my husband, however, to get the kitchen clean so that he can finish grouting the back splash when he gets back.  And there is a massive load of laundry screaming for their home sweet drawers on the couch, not to mention the entire Dora aisle of Toys R Us laying in my living room.  But I calculate that I have about 2 good hour before they get back so here I sit , opting for one of those hours to talk to you.

I spin around in my seat, thinking of my next line and catch a myriad of pictures of my children, all at 6 months old.  I was diligent about these baby pictures, actually all baby pictures. But with these, I made sure they were all the same age, had the same types of pictures and the same quality.  I wanted to capture them all at the same time so that later in life when they are grown and educated and gone, I can remember the baby shapes of their eyes, the chunkiness of their cheeks, the soft pinkness of their baby lips.  My eyes linger too long and after a moment, I start to see them all as the same.  Despite different colorings, I see so many similarities that if someone walked in and did not know them, they would think them triplets. 

I think that this morphed image I have in my mind now must be pretty close to what I looked like at 6 months old.  I know there is a strong presence of my husband’s heritage in my children, but I also think this is as close as I will ever get to having baby pictures of myself. 

I was adopted at the age of 8.  To go deeply into this part of my history would require a lot of time and a lot of explanation.  We’ll save it for another post, or blog, one day.  But a quick recap will be necessary. 

I lived with my birth family for the first 6 years of my life, with 7 other brothers and sisters.  At 6, after bouncing from foster home to foster home and then back to my family, I was taken by the state of Texas and placed in permanent foster care.  I stayed with one family for 2 years and then was adopted by my family today. 

In all of my moves, I failed to collect one single baby picture.  In fact, except for seeing on when I was 14while visiting my birth father, I have no record of what I looked like before I was 6 years old.  I have a kindergarten picture and that is the earliest shot. 

It used to really bother me.  I’d go into friends houses and their families had all of the pictures of them from birth to whatever age plastered all over the house with pride and adoration.  The parents would tell me stories of one photo shoot or another and my friends, though feigning embarrassment, always had that cock- eyes happy grin on their faces.  I could tell that those pictures cohesively joined those families for life, despite whatever issues they might be having.

I felt very disconnected, isolated and, to be honest, weird.  I used to sit and scour through my sister’s baby albums and pretend they were mine.  It made me feel better in an odd sort of way.  Pretending it was me so lovingly wrapped in homemade blankets and the arms of grandparents, beaming with joy at my arrival. 

As I grew older, I matured – well – that is up for debate – but I at least got over it, I suppose.  I just figured that there were lots of people out there who didn’t have pictures for whatever reasons and they probably were not losing mush sleep over it so why should I?  But, occasionally, it would enter my subconscious. 

The birth of my children brought out the baby picture maniac in me.  I, after Sarah’s birth, once ordered 3250 photos just so that I would have every single one, in focus or not, good or not.  It is an obsession my husband does not necessary understand, but leaves alone since he knows I am in overcompensation mode.  The fact that I have not had time to really go through them makes no difference.  I have them, in my possession and that is all that matters to me.

After Megan was born and I started to get another round of comments about how she looked just like my husband, I figured I was not meant to have a child that looked like me.  One to raise that I could look at and say, “I must have looked like that.”

But time is a funny thing, as I am learning.  And with every passing day, my children are starting to morph into something that could have been me.  Katie is starting to resemble that old, faded kindergarten picture every day, Sarah is starting to get those cheeks that I recognize in my 2nd grade picture and Megan is starting to get comments that she looks just like me.

So here I sit, wasting valuable me time, absorbed in 6 month pictures of my three daughters, not missing when they were all little babies, barely crawling, with almost no hair to cut, but starting to smile at what those pictures are doing for me.

Their presence is offering history.  A reminder that God always takes what I feel is lacking and places it right under my nose for me see.

A glimpse into what might have been me.