Family of Three (posted June 9, 2012)

I remember when we were a family of three.Dad was a tile man; a hardworking, skilled craftsman who loved his work and the pleasure it brought to others. Nick was a handsome man.

Mom was a photographer, displaying her motherly pride through the artistic expression of her photography. Eileen was a classic beauty.

We were a family of three and there were photos to prove it!

There were boxes and boxes of photos. There were snapshots and enlargements, painstakingly tinted and colored (Eileen was trying her hand at various methods of color transfer development techniques). There were beautiful photos, blurry photos, masterpieces and cast-aside ‘experiments’. Yet, all captured for posterity, precious moments in time.

I stare at a picture taken on a rooftop as daylight was dwindling. Mom was swaddling her infant in her arms. Dad gazed lovingly at us. What did they talk about up there on the roof that evening? Who took the picture? Was Dad reassuring her that their love could overcome the resistance from his Italian family, outraged because he married an Irish girl?

Another photo: the three of us, dressed in our Sunday best, smiling from our tentative perch in a rowboat. I was an excitable, doted-upon three- year-old. Mom must have known about my expected baby sister. Did they talk about the baby? Did we have a picnic lunch? Did we take the trolley or the Park Ave bus to the park?I pause on the third photo, taken later that year. I was on a beautiful pony. That day, we went to a recording booth where I sang “California, Here I Come” and “‘A’ You’re Adorable”, dedicated to my new baby sister, Eileen!

I wish I could time-travel and sit-in on our conversation. I would thank them and reassure them that I would love my sister, and later my brother; and that our special threesome would inevitably evolve to another, better model – Eileen, Nick and the three kids.

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