Bundled up and snuggling

I came across this photo recently while going through a box of family photographs. I was struck by how Dad is holding me so protectively, in a tender yet fierce grip. His eyes closed, it’s as if he’s trying to sear that moment into his memory and heart forever. I hope he was able to, and to recall it as the darkness of dementia swept over him in the last years of his life.

Another thing that struck me about this picture is … what the heck am I doing in that outfit? You would have thought there was a blizzard outside, but in fact it was Southern California, where it’s always 70 and sunny (give or take a few degrees.) I don’t look quite as content as Dad does in this photo, bundled up to the gills in heavy clothing. The outfit may have been a gift from my grandparents in Ireland on my father’s side, or from my mom’s family in Tennessee. Those respective climates would find a baby’s outfit like this more useful.

Despite my apparent discomfort, I still love this photo, a fleeting moment of sweetness and innocence caught on camera.

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