it’s a baby in a basket.

I have a box of old family photos.
This has to be my favorite one of them all.

It’s my dad at 14 1/2 months. My grandmother, in true motherly fashion, has penned his age on the back in precisely scripted blue ink. I like that it’s not your typical childhood photo. He’s not tearing into glittery Christmas wrapping, or blowing out birthday candles, there’s no laugh caught mid grin.

I think that this is when dad started to figure out what the world was all about.

I imagine my grandfather kneeling on the freshly mowed lawn in order to frame the image just right. It is a picture worthy moment…my father on the verge of tears over the unfairness of being placed inside a wicker laundry basket alongside, what I imagine to be his fathers drawers and handkerchiefs recently pulled from the line. Who knows, maybe this was my grandmother’s solution for a not-yet invented playpen, it was 1943 after all.

I imagine that moments after the click of the shutter my grandfather rose from his crouched position, brushed grass clippings from his knee, and rescued my father from the stack of laundry, perhaps giving him a soothing rub on the back. At that point I see my grandmother retrieving the basket, smoothing her apron before bending to the ground to pick i t up, and they all return to the kitchen for lunch, or maybe an early afternoon nap.

This is all just conjecture though. All I really know is what I can see in this photo, and one thing is clear. This may have been the moment that Dad realized that sometimes it doesn’t matter what you want, sometimes you just end up somewhere you don’t want to be, like in a pile next to your father’s underwear. 🙂

This is one of the reasons why I love photos. They capture important moments, for sure. But, sometimes you get lucky and you catch a moment that doesn’t become important until much later 🙂


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