A few years ago, I read about a study of the correlation between zodiac signs and the risk for depression. Researchers were investigating the importance of sunlight a woman receives during pregnancy.
Leave me unattended at home with photo albums, a scanner, and a plate of snickerdoodles, and I start thinking about my mom and the heavy questions. (That’s my mom on skates in the photo above. I’m the hatchling holding her hand, trying to keep up. My dad wore a sweatband when he ran near this same little harbor, and I’ve adopted that look.)
Under which signs of fashion was I born? The macrame owl, Daisy the poodle (pictured with me, below) and the daisy laminate floor covering were the fauna and flora of my childhood.
One day I realized that my parents were nearly 30 before I was born, and I was indignant that they’d had almost a three decades’ head start on a fun life without me. I was also freaked out thinking about how my parents were, in some real way, strangers. Strangers who let me store my dolls in their house. Who were they? How was I like them? (I have to credit 1. graduate school and 2. Lynda Barry’s stunning What It Is for my tendency to answer questions with more questions.)
Could my mom’s love of silver jewelry, or her eye for print dresses, have been passed along to me in utero? Maybe I inherited from her a love of classic pieces, such as the timeless ski sweater in the photo below (taken not long after I was born)?
Could I have inherited a love of travel from my forbears? I love the photo below of my mom as a girl in an oxford blouse and cuffed jeans on a family trip from West Virginia to the West West. I didn’t grow up observing Advent, but I dig the weighted wheel of the church year. We’re still in the twelve days of Christmas, so I’ve got a bit of time left.