I can still remember the day the photo was taken, and I can still remember the way the bark of the birch tree in the front yard smelled and would leave my skin and clothes dusted in flaky white Birch dust. The woman who took the picture shares my name (was I named after her? I don't remember) and she stiched and embroidered my mother a shirt a million years ago. I stole the shirt from mom, and wear it all the time, because it makes me think of mom, and the woman she was before we, as kids with incessant demands and unrelenting selfishness made her a Mom-Person. Your Identity; the ultimate sacrifice of motherhood.
Now that my sister is safely off in Grad School, and flashing through her exams like a freight train (Straight A's!!!) Mom and Dad are tentatively finding their feet and rediscovering whatever it is that the people they were before we arrived might look like now. We give them grief, make cruel jokes about mid-life crisis etc.. but secretly, we are thrilled for them.
A blog post about other stuff, and how (some but not all) Omani's celebrate Christmas, soon.
* and that beard fantastic, no?