“I was looking through old pictures for Beau, and found this one. Made my heart smile! Do you remember the ‘Firehouse’ shake from that restaurant on grandmas lake? It was so exciting to drive the boat all the way over there for that shake!” was the text that came through from my sister Kim yesterday while I was working away, fast and furious, at my desk. Michelle instantly replied with, “Highlight of my life!”
It’s truly amazing how a simple image can take you back in time.
My grandparents didn’t have much back in those days, but Grandpa built their house on a quiet cove on Lake of the Ozarks. He built a dock and they always had a boat, which made Grandma’s house such an exciting place to go. Whether it was Grandpa’s fishing boat or an old pontoon boat they once bought, when we came to visit, they would take us for a ride. We’d either visit the filling station that had all the fun candy, or on very special occasions, we’d get to go to this fancy restaurant overlooking the lake. They never “ate out”, so it we didn’t get a meal. We would simply order this giant shake, with 3 giant straws, of course.
It was a grand adventure, so full of fun.
That little bowl-cut blondie was probably no more than 4 or 5 when Grandma snapped this image, and yet, I remember the details so vividly, like it was yesterday. But there are a few things I can see now, that I couldn’t then. There were three distinctly different personalities in this picture.
My grown-up self is so very fond of each of them.
Michelle, in her coordinating rainbow shirt and jeans, was looking up – paying attention. She was still enjoying that shake, but I guarantee you, she was taking care of us, watching out for us. Kim was more thoughtful, more considerate. Her straw was placed, exactly so, and I’m quite sure she was only drinking her fair third of that shake. Me? I didn’t know any better, I just had my face focused on that milkshake and filling my cheeks as fast as I possibly could.
Yesterday is gone, but those little girls are still here.
They live on in each of us to this day. Sure, we’re older, wiser, and more refined. Hopefully, we also have better hair and fashion. We’ve grown a lot since those days, including my younger sister Heather. But mostly, we’re still those little girls, with big dreams, who each see the world so differently.
And try our best to keep each other from sucking down giant milkshakes.
When I look back at this picture now, I’m especially fond of those little girls. Back then, I didn’t understand, but over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate all the things that make us each unique. My adult self can see so clearly the value we each bring to the world, and to each other.
I’ve long since stopped trying to be like them, and started just wanting to be with them.
When you see yourself as a little girl, what do you remember about her?
What are you especially fond of?
There’s a pretty good chance that’s still a big part of who you are. Sure, you’re older and wiser now. Time has changed you in all sorts of ways you never imagined. But now as an adult, you are free to look back and cherish that beautiful little girl you used to be.
Embrace that. Embrace her. Remember her. Cherish her. She is beautiful.
She’s not lost.
She’s just waiting to be remembered by the woman you are today.
to more love,