This is my mom. Of all of the photographs I have of her that appear to be taken before she was married, which means before she had five kids and had to move us every three years because our dad was in the army and that’s what army families did (and still do), THIS photograph is the best of what I’ve come to call “the dog series.”
It’s the one that has the most detail. Despite the shadows, you can see her face. And her bare feet. And her painted toe nails.
And the blond cocker spaniel sitting in her lap.
My mom liked dogs, especially cocker spaniels. And dogs of dubious pedigree that were easy to live with and medium size.
Almost as much as my mom loved dogs, she loved to read. I can remember being hauled off to libraries starting when I was 4 or 5 years old. I’ve never stopped going.
When my dad retired from the military, we moved to a college town 40 minutes west of Philadelphia. I was 12 years old and wouldn’t move again until I was 18 and went off to college.
My mom added a few more dogs (and cats) to what eventually grew to be a lively menagerie of five dogs and 4-5 cats. And she got involved in small-town politics and she volunteered at the public library.
And all five of us kids read books. We were book junkies, staying up until after 1AM during the summer, each of us literally buried in the pages of a book with a dog or two quietly snoring in the background.
I try not to read too much into my mom’s photograph. She liked her privacy. But when I miss her and find myself thinking about her, which is pretty much every day, I see her in me each time I reach for one of my dogs or when I glance over at the clock radio on the bedside table and realize that it’s pretty late.
Painted toe nails? Not so much. Two out of three ain’t bad. [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]