The weekly writing challenge immediately made me think of one photo and I scoured through my pictures to find it. As you may notice from the stellar 70’s and early 80’s decor this picture was taken many years ago. If I had to guess, I would say it was 1986 ish.
The challenge is this: For this challenge, we want to see a photo of someone looking truly happy. Not “I’m-smiling-for-this-photo” happy, but really, deeply, twinkle-in-the-eyes happy. When we’re smiling a genuine smile, our whole faces get involved — our whole bodies, for that matter. There’s a light in our eyes. We look relaxed; there’s a forced tension in a fake smile.
Then we want to know why: what’s going on in the photo? What are you (or they) thinking about at the exact moment? (And if you really want to get into it: what happens next?)
My Nana used to think I was the biggest brat on the planet. Hard to believe, I know, but that is a true story. I was a high-spirited child with a penchant for making my presence known and I can see how, for adults, the novelty would have worn off quickly. Thankfully as I evolved into a teenager and young adult I no longer felt the need to be the centre of attention and I climbed the rungs of my grandmothers favoritism ladder.
This photo was taken during Christmas holidays. Each festive season my grandparents would pack their car and make the pilgrimage north to enjoy the spectral portrait of our white Christmas. Nana and I would spend hours in the kitchen cooking, baking and harmonizing to any Christmas Carol we could. My dad would occasionally chime in and it became a three-part harmony and these moments became some of my fondest holiday memories.
After the casserole was in the oven, I left the kitchen to spend some time with my Grampa as he sat the recliner watching television. My cat had decided that the recliner was the perfect post to sharpen his non-existent nails and began to rub his front paws on the side of head rest. Grampa leaned around to see what was causing the movement to his chair and my cat stealthily, and with the grace of a fighter, smacked my grandfather in the face with his right paw hard enough to break his glasses. Had there been a cartoon balloon hovering over my grandfather’s head it would have been filled with words similar to the descriptive fights in the old Batman comics. Whap! Pow! It was feline poetry in motion and my cat sauntered away, satisfied he had made his point.
As my grandfather slowly collected his mangled glasses from his lap, my giggles began. I tried my best to control the laughter. I knew Grampa was annoyed and my snickering was only going to add fuel to his fire. I quickly made my way back to the kitchen to tell Nana what had happened and we laughed. And we laughed some more. We couldn’t seem to stop. I replayed the assault in slow motion and we laughed harder. Tears were streaming down my face and I had trouble catching my breath. When the last of the giggles were wrung from my body my ribs ached and my eyes were swollen and bloodshot. There was enough vision left in those ocular portals to see my Nana sneaking down the hallway to change her pants!!
I have many fond memories of visits with my grandparents before they left for the world they now inhabit. I hope they remember this moment with as much fondness as I do. (at least I hope Nana does!)