Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Way-Back Machine

Time: Spring 1984
Place: Our little home - Bartlett, Illinois



There they are in all their cuteness - the farmer's kids. It's Easter Sunday and this scene represents many hours of hard work. First we had to shop for those awesome outfits. That morning everyone had to rise early. They had to be bathed, fed, dressed, hair spiffed. In the meantime the farmer and I had to also get ready.

My son is looking snappy in his double breasted jacket and khakis. A white shirt, clip-on tie and dress shoes round out the look. Daughter is looking like a pixie in her blue calico dress with white ruffly smock. Look at those super white patent leather shoes and clean socks. WOW, what a couple of cutie pies.

But if I stopped here you wouldn't get the whole picture and it wouldn't be an accurate representation of how childhood played out in our household. The day-to-day business of living was not all spit and polish, regardless of the fact that the farmer was once a drill instructor in the Army. Think about that for a moment. How would you like to be the D.I.'s kid? Besides, I find the photo somewhat boring, lacking a certain something.

So to present another view of their childhood I offer you this photo:


There, that's more like it. All I can think when I look at this is....bad mommy! Just so you don't miss anything I'll review the photo in detail. You will notice that I believed in independence from a young age. The children were allowed to dress themselves if they so desired. It's apparent that on this morning they so desired. My daughter has chosen one of her brother's polo shirts and matched it up with a hand-me-down skirt from her cousin that is too big and was packed away for the future. It seems the future has arrived. Nice ruffled socks but what's up with those shoes? Filthy!! Oh yeah, those were the shoes that I'd tossed in the garbage the week before, but since they were her favorites, she dug them out for this occasion.

You will also notice that for a mid-morning snack she has chosen an entire bag of potato chips. She probably washed it all down with a quart of red Kool Aid.

My son is more refined, the artist in the family. He's done well with the daily wardrobe choice. The shirt and overalls coordinate nicely with the socks, but what's this.....his shoes are on the wrong feet!! Just for the effect he's sticking out his tongue. Nice.

I certainly wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea of me as a mom. I was devoted to my children and I've always been a creative genius where they're concerned. Look at the fabulous play things I fashioned for them -


You'll notice the bare feet. And look, my son has decided to wear his dad's Jack Daniels tee shirt.

Bad, bad mommy.

I love my young adult children dearly, but I would give a king's ransom to go back and spend just one day with these little ones.

MORAL TO THIS STORY: Moms - cut yourself some slack. The little girl above now has a degree in interior design and working on her master's in construction management. The little boy sticking out his tongue is earning a nursing degree and working in a home for severly disabled young adults. The happiness and well being of your children as adults does not depend on whether their shoes are on the right feet!

I'm posting this late on Saturday night because the farmer and I are going eagle watching tomorrow. Come back on Monday, hopefully I'll have some great pics to show you!


Anonymous said...
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Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

If those pics in the bedroom are any indication, those children of yours grew up just fine!

Looking forward to tomorrow's photos. Hope that you have a marvelous day with the eagles.

Lucy said...

The little outfit your little guy is wearing is adorable! Wish I'd found it when mine were that young.

Jerusalem said...

See all I see when I look at those photos is Good Mommy! You let your kids be kids and individuals! That is great - and to prove the point they turned out so well after all - thanks for sharing!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

What an absolutely delightful post! Thanks for starting my Sunday off with smiles, and fond memories of my own little mismatched "I do it myself" ones!

Thanks so much for adding your name to my blog GIVE AWAY!

xo Lidy

BittersweetPunkin said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog Suzanne!! I loved this post...the photos are so great...priceless actually..
I'll be back again~

Bax said...

Just popped over from Vee's and find your blog delightful! Thanks for sharing those precious photos! Can't wait to come back another day!