This is a picture of my mom and my dad, well before they were my mom and my dad. I don’t exist, just yet; my mom is around 22 years old. Pre-war mood. They’re enjoying themselves with a bunch of their friends.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine our parents in their singularity. Reading Lepucki’s article in the NYT made me think that all we know about our parents and their “pre-parent” existence is from storytelling, their narratives. Pictures also, if we’re lucky to have them, bring those stories into life, coloring them; black and white are colors also.
I myself wonder greatly about the traits we allow(ed) our parents to have and which ones we view as temporary, expiring with age. Especially when it comes to women “can a woman be both sexual and maternal, daring and responsible, innocent and wise?” We usually hold our mothers as these selflessness creatures or we discount and parodie them. In reality we’re all of these things in our complexity, and we should be not just allowed to be all of those things but encouraged to do so. That’s how great dads flourish.