Smiling Back at Me

Tucked away in a box of odds and ends, I found a lost photograph of me as a baby.  It was just a picture of me in a blue jumper, half smiling with my head resting on a pillow.  My name and age were scrawled on the back in smudged pencil.  I showed the picture to my wife.  She could hardly believe that it was me, although there was something that she recognized about the eyes.  She was so taken with this photograph, she commissioned a full-sized portrait of it painted.  She hung the portrait over the fireplace.  For the rest of my life, I had to see it hanging there, smiling back at me, every time I walked into the room.  I got so tired of it.


5 thoughts on “Smiling Back at Me

  1. to me this epitomizes the frustration of being typecast by someone close to us, e.g. our grown-up children, who may not quite forgive us for failing to correspond to their childhood idea of who we are.
    [note typo: belief > believe]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh, good catch on the typo. I thought you were talking about your comment for a second, giving me a heads up to fix it, but then that didn’t make any sense.

      RE your interpretation: That is something I’ve thought about before, how sometimes people you know don’t give you a chance to grow as a person because they insist on treating you by this fixed idea that they have of you. My father could be like that. And it was something that I was all the more acutely aware of because there were times when long periods would pass between instances of seeing him. So it wasn’t even like I was trying to make it a point that I had “grown” or “changed”; it would just be a fact given the time gone by. It caused some awkwardness.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hate my baby pictures, because I looked like a very stupid child. Like, that slack jawed kind of smile where nobody’s home upstairs but somehow that doesn’t matter. I’m almost angry just thinking about it. I don’t think I’d want a portrait sized painting of that.

    Liked by 1 person

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