The Mom Photo Essay Project On Instagram: Ten

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Photo info: Mom & I. Date: unknown. Having no kids of my own, I'm not good at guessing the age of children. I was born in February of 1966. I'm guessing, because of the green leaves on the trees that it might be late summer of 1966, or, at the latest, early Spring 1967, though that would make me a year old – is that too old for a stroller? This photo of my mom has always fascinated me because when I look at the photo, the woman in it seems unrecognizable, so unlike the woman I know as my mom. Let me explain. Her hair, glasses, dress – all say 60s housewife. My mom was no housewife. My mom had recently retired from the army reserves, rank: major. She was teaching high school when I came along. For the first few years of my life, various people watched me – all friends of mom's. By the time I was old enough to start school, my mom hired someone to take care of me. Alice was nanny, housekeeper, cook. Either mom or dad went to pick her up in the morning (around 5am), and bring her to our home, then one of my parents would bring Alice home at the end of the day. Part of the reason my mom worked was because after moving into the house, my mom wanted an addition: the 1,200 sq. ft. home doubled in size; the cost: $10K. Added to that: the contractor took off with all of the money, leaving just the foundation and framework completed. My parents needed all the money they could earn, just to avoid filing for bankruptcy. So, being a housewife wasn't an option. Though, I don't think my mom would have been happy staying home. She liked teaching, she liked having money. She liked doing as she pleased. I think my mom would have gone crazy if she had to stay home all day and care for a baby. I'll be 50 years old in about six-months. In all of my years, I've never once heard my mom say that she wished she'd been able to stay home and raise kids. That just wasn't her. I've never thought of that as a failing, never thought it meant she didn't love me; I just know my mom: sitting still was never in her blood. Now, at 91, she sits a lot. She doesn't drive, her closest friends are long gone, her energy too. She hates sitting. #aging #elderlyparent

A post shared by John Francis Nooney (@john_francis_nooney) on

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