Where does it go?
I’ve been thinking about these pictures ever since I recently stumbled upon them in a photo album Ellie keeps. What they were doing there, I don’t know. She obviously doesn’t remember anything about the pictures. Nor, at this date, do her brothers remember ever going to Dinosaur Land.
For the record, I remember it. I remember the kids having fun. Dinosaur Land, built in the 1960s, is one of those unique old-fashioned roadside attractions that you just don’t see often enough nowadays. Two dozen life-size-ish fiberglass dinosaurs are scattered around the small wooded park. They stand in ferocious poses, flashing their teeth and claws as if engaged in battle with one another.
It’s the type of place one can enjoy if one has small children.
Both boys were big into dinosaurs back then, and they ran about the grounds yelling out the names of all the species they could identify. The T. Rexes, the Triceratops, the this-asauruses and that-asauruses.
But me? I remember it being a relentlessly overcast day, and chilly to boot, the kind of day that can depress me regardless how well everything else might be going for me at the time. I remember being preoccupied with work-related things. I had invoices to write up, regulations to research, client presentations to prepare. Yes, I was glad the boys were enjoying themselves, but I was filled with anxiety over all the things I could not do because I was out chaperoning my sons through under-trafficked tourist trap.
Now though, I can’t get these photos out of my mind. The scale just amazes me. How big must the King Kong statue have been to make my boys look so small? But I’m also amazed at how cute my boys were. Now teenagers, they both look like young men. Good-looking young me. But they used to be so small.
Lines from “Sunrise, Sunset” (from Fiddler on the Roof) come to mind
Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older
When did they?
When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he grow to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?
But the photos. As miserable as I felt that day, I never expected they would one day fill me with such joy.
ERRATA #1: I reviewed Megan Martin's NEVERS (Caketrain Press, 2014) in the latest issue of The Collagist. It's a good book and published by one of the best small independent presses out there. Consider checking out my review, and consider reading Martin's book.
ERRATA #2: Earlier this summer, one of my short stories, "What We Remember When We Remember the Great Loves of Our Lives," appeared in The Cobalt Baseball Issue 2014. It's kind of a fun story, especially if you were a Baltimore Orioles fan in the late 1980s/early 1990s.