Meghaan, Lela, and I are spending my entire Spring Break in Boise with Meghaan’s family. We left Vancouver immediately after school got out on Friday and will head back home 8 days later.
If you know me, you know why this is a big deal.
I like my routines, I like my own house, and I like being able to do what I want, when I want.
I’m pretty particular that way.
Even though I am never really doing anything, I’m always doing something. You probably know what I mean. My life is a series of small tasks, some of which I actually complete. But usually, I start a project, get distracted, start another, and then give up on all of them because I can’t remember where I left off.
Regardless, I value my freedom and my ability to do something or nothing and not bother anyone else.
Another thing I value is family, and that’s why we’re here. Lela is now 3 months old, and prior to this weekend she hadn’t met most of her family. Beyond Meghaan’s parents and a couple of friends, Lela hadn’t met the people who helped make Meghaan who she is today.
I haven’t had any living grandparents in over a decade, so it’s important to me that Lela meets as many relatives as she can before they’re no longer with us. Meghaan is lucky to have both maternal grandparents still living, and fortunately Lela got to meet them. She also met Meg’s brother, cousins, aunt, uncle, friends, and childhood neighbors.
She is starting to meet the village who helped raise her own mother.
Meghaan and her parents were digging through a mountain of old photos on Easter, and I got to hear all of the stories and memories that came with each picture. So many memories captured in those photographs, and some great stories as well. Again, the village was showcased.
One photo caught my attention, and I couldn’t put it down. I kept looking at it, amazed by what I saw.
This is a picture of Meghaan’s grandfather LaVar taking a picture of his daughter Marilyn holding her first-born son Travis as his other daughter Carolyn looks on.
Marilyn is Meghaan’s mom.
Carolyn is her identical twin sister.
Travis is Meghaan’s older brother, who is old as dirt (we’re both 35).
LaVar is close to 150 if you ask him. Nobody really knows his age.
We assume the photographer in this photo is Meghaan’s father Tom, but that’s up for debate.
Whoever took this photo captured an incredible moment, and did so masterfully. This really is an amazing photograph, in terms of the overall composition. Cheers to whoever shot this.
But more than that, it’s the moment that’s amazing. A new branch of the family tree had just sprouted, and luckily someone took a picture to remember it.
Not long after that, Meghaan asked me to take a picture of her and Lela. Which, of course, I agreed to.
Come to find out this picture was more than that; the picture would feature 3 generations of the family together, which had never been done.
I’ll admit- I was nervous. Meghaan and her mom sat with Lela, DeLores sat in the middle, and the Wood/Turcato ladies took the other end of the couch.
Just to clarify, that’s DeLores (now a great-grandmother) sitting in the middle, her daughters sitting on the outside, their daughters next to them, and their daughters on their own laps.
No pressure, though. Just take a picture.
Fortunately I didn’t pass out. Despite having a lens that was way too narrow and lighting that was less than optimal, I got a few pictures that I really like.
That one’s good, right? I know, there’s a few things I could improve upon, but overall it’s a nice photo.
But wait, there’s more.
OK, that’s enough. Just look at DeLores. LOOK AT HER. She is the happiest woman on the planet.
And why wouldn’t she be? She’s surrounded by her daughters, their daughters, and their daughters.
This may actually be the happiest woman on the planet. There may be a trophy somewhere with that title and her name on it.
And you know what? She deserves it. None of this has been easy, and she will be the first to admit that. But it has all been worth it.
That same day my mom brought over a picture of me as a 3-month-old baby, doing baby things. It’s especially relevant because Lela is just over 3 months old, so it’s pretty fun to look at her and pictures of me and see if we look similar.
Here’s me at 3 months.
Here’s Lela at 3 months.
Oh I don’t know if she looks like me. It’s really hard to tell. She could just be a super cute baby that looks like another super cute baby.
I have to say, she looks a lot like her dad. And I know that evolution supports this, so I’m not creating theories out of thin air. But you have to agree- Lela looks like me when we were the same age.
But then we found a picture of Meghaan when she was 3 months old. She doesn’t look like Lela, does she?
WAIT A MINUTE YES SHE DOES!
Maybe Lela doesn’t look like me OR Meghaan.
Maybe Lela looks like me AND Meghaan.
Maybe she’s a combination of who I am and who she is.
Maybe that’s the point of all of this.