There is a picture in my parent's photo album of my mother standing in front of a house holding a pair of watermelons, one in each arm, at roughly midchest level. It was taken when I was about 10 years old and I remember looking at it in the photo album, wondering why they had taken this particular picture. If the watermelons were the point of the photo, surely we should have taken a picture of all of the watermelons and not just these two? I thought not much of it at the time since my parents clearly did a lot of things I couldn't find reasons for.
My parents sure do strange things I don't understand.
Fast forward 5 years. I, as a opinionated 15 year old am looking through the photo album and again see this picture. This time of course I note that the watermelons are in a position that suggests that they are rather symbolic of things that are not strictly speaking fruit. I couldn't believe that my parents would put such a picture in their photo album and be so completely unaware that it was embarrassing! Can't they see what everyone is going to think when they look at that picture?
My parents are so clueless.
Fast forward 10 years. I, as a worldly and knowledgeable 25 year old, look through the photo album again. This time I see the overt symbolism and smile inwardly at my own naivete in years gone by. Of course my parents see it, of course that is why they took the picture in the first place, and of course me as a teenager would somehow assume that they weren't aware of this at all. Because of course a 15 year old is much more aware of sexual symbolism than a pair of 40 year olds who were at least peripherally hippies and have actually had sex.
I sure was clueless at 15.
Nothing has changed about the picture since then. It is still a silly picture taken 22 years ago, but the memories endure of the various ways I viewed it and used it as a lens through which to view my parents. I wonder if there will be some further revelation, some great change in the way I see things based on a new interpretation of that simple picture coming in later years. I am approaching the time when I will be the same age as my parents were when the photo was taken so perhaps the I am done with learning great new things from it, and maybe it is my turn to take some silly photos that Elli will not understand for years, and will thoroughly misunderstand for years after that.