As I wrote in my Happiness post the other day, joy came to me when I found the painting. Vague, huh?
Because it has a story. I’m sure it has a much longer, more interesting story before my section of its story came to be, but no one seems to know it, so here is my version:
In the late 90’s, I took Tori to my grandparents’ lake house, where I spent many a childhood summer. Since we had almost no furniture in our townhouse, my grandmother encouraged us to take some while we were there. The back of Tori’s SUV wasn’t empty enough to snag a sofa, but I mentioned to my grandmother that there was a painting I wanted.
I described the painting, “It’s a little white house on a dirt drive? There’s a bush in the foreground, looks like a man’s coming out of it? It used to hang over my bed? I would wake up to it every morning?” My grandmother was completely puzzled, but she said to try looking in the basement, and to take anything else we wanted while we were down there. Well, yeah, forty years of lake living and never pitching a thing made for quite a search! We didn’t find the painting.
I moped a bit.
When my grandmother passed, The Mister and I made another search for that painting, and turned up empty-handed.
My parents asked me if there was anything else I wanted. I did not want anything else. I wanted that painting.
There was an estate sale the following summer, and my parents set aside a pile of things they thought I might like. Not one of them was the painting, and like I said, I didn’t want anything else.
In the pile of stuff they thought I might like was a large photograph of toddler me, in my overalls and sprouts of ponytails. (It has a story too, but I’m not telling you that one today.)
Why my mother thought I wanted this, I could not fathom. She didn’t even lie to me and say that everyone in the family fought over my incredible cuteness or anything. If she didn’t want it and no one even tried to beat her down and take it, why would I want it?
I did, however, think MIL would like it for her baby wall, and my mother said that was fine.
My MIL wasn’t my MIL then, but I was like her third kid, and it seemed only fair that my cuteness should hang on the baby wall, too.
Years later, MIL took this photo of Sassy and Moo in front of pictures of The Mister and Me, so we could all see how much Sassy looks like her father and how much Moo looks like her mother (in case we were all blind):
Then, we recreated this photo with toddler Moo:
Isn’t that nice?
It’s no wonder Moo thinks all my childhood photos are of her. Of course, she also thinks that The Golden Girls are people she met at Grandma’s house…
Anyway, my mother used to paint over photos, giving them greater dimension and a bit of a sheen. I dunno, I think it was a 70’s thing, or somethin. I dunno, my mother is ridiculously talented. MIL needed the little me portrait framed in glass to match the other photos on the baby wall, so …
Guess what was behind that unnecessarily large portrait of me?
Behold, THE PAINTING:
It was destined to be mine.
I know, I know, you’re all like, “What’s so special about the painting?” I have no idea. I just love it. Always have. I don’t think it’s valuable to anyone except me. When people ask what I would take from my burning house? This painting.
If the fire was clearly unstoppable, I’d prolly ask the firefighters to throw my dining table out the picture window, too, but I’d for damn sure save this painting.
Have you ever had to hunt down your heirlooms? Do your parents have grossly large portraits of baby you? Do you want to tell me about your prized possessions?