Why Do I Have So Many Photos of Random Babies? Plus, Baby Me

I just went on a gallop through my box o’ disorganized photos to find the few pics I’ve got of Misha as a kitten, and ended up wading through twelve gajillion babies I don’t recognize anymore. I don’t even remember people handing me photos of these random infants. I know there must be a reason for most of them, but there’s only a couple I recognize. The rest are just small photos of children I probably never met, handed to me by proud relations I was friends with. It’s weird – but only because in the digital age, when it’s easier to share photos than ever, I don’t get any unknown infant pictures. I guess it’s because the proud relations can do their sharing on Facebook or something. I dunno. Has anyone else experienced this?

I did find my blackmail photo. The person in question has passed beyond the Age of Susceptibility to Mortal Embarrassment and is now old enough to laugh at her silly small child antics, so I shall never get to use it. But it’s totes adorbs. You’ll have to take my word for it, because I’m not putting it on the intertoobz unless she contacts me and tells me to go right ahead.

You’ll have to settle for some other kid’s pictures instead. Let’s see what’s in this mess…. 

I’ve got random graduation photos of various kids, some of whom I vaguely remember. I’ve got pictures of old birthday parties, and holidays, and puppies and kitties long gone. I’ve got photos of my mom that I have a hard time looking at because that person she was is gone. I’ve got the portrait of me taken within an hour or two of finding out my paternal grandmother had died. We’d stopped at the bank to get a loan so my dad could fly back for the funeral, and Mom thought I was too young to understand the Big Grownup Words they used and wouldn’t pay attention, but I did, and that’s how I found out my grandma was dead. Mom hadn’t told me – Dad wanted to wait until he could be there, too. I was furious, then I was sobbing, and I couldn’t stop, but I tried to smile for the camera like a good girl at the portrait appointment afterward, because we couldn’t cancel at the last minute. I love that photo now. It’s a reminder of how intensely I loved her.

There’s a family portrait in the pouch with it. Grandma, Grandpa, youngest Uncle. All gone now.

*pause to sniffle, pretend there’s just something in my eye, maybe some dust or something*

Going through more photos I haven’t seen in decades… omigosh, there’s one with my ex-boyfriend from second grade! He was a sweet and adorable black kid who always treated me like gold. I don’t remember why we “broke up.” Probably just drifted apart over the summer – he lived in town, I was a country girl. He’s looking to the side in our class picture like he’s checking out the person next to him. Too funny. I hope he’s had a great life. I wish I could remember his full name so I could look him up.

Oh, now, here’s a baby I know. At last!

Image is a smiling baby in a pink outfit, lying on some fur thingy in the photographer's studio.
Moi in infancy.

Yepper. That sure is a baby I am definitely related to.

Oh, lordy. I just found the patented Mom Blackmail Photos. You know, the ones moms take when you’re itty-bitty, and then love to trot out to show your boyfriend decades later. There’s the obligatory bathtime photo, and the dancing nude. I’d better hide this box better.

Hey, wanna see me in a bikini?

Image shows me at age 2ish, standing in a little green inflatable canoe which, for some reason, is full of water. I'm in a floral bikini and grinning at the camera.
Moi in mah bikini, in mah boat.

I think that may be literally the only photo of me in a bikini, ever, except for the other one taken that same day. My hair was in transition from blonde to dark brown. I was probably a holy terror, but my mom never complained, so I’ve got a very skewed description of my terrible two self.

I’ve got pictures of me with my old dad, too, and they’re kind of odd to look at. He was a Vietnam vet, and kind of messed up, and I remember him being pretty reserved and sometimes scary. My mom tells me I once asked her why daddy didn’t love me, because he had such a hard time expressing it, and also tried not to come between me and my mommy. I always thought he looked so stern and distant. But I look at those photos now, and there’s the love. So much of it. I’ll have to bundle some copies over to him, and assure him he did a great job as a dad. We had so many fantastic fun times together. Those photos really capture that. Of course, I knew it, once I got old enough to know different people express affection in different ways. I adored that man. I still do.

*geez, willya lookit the pollen or whatever in my eyes again. yeesh.*

Someday, I’ll have to organize and digitize all this stuff. I’ll have to scribble down the memories that rise up. It’s amazing how photos trigger a rush of remembrance.

Now if I could just remember who those random babies are…

Why Do I Have So Many Photos of Random Babies? Plus, Baby Me

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