Bean decided to wear her outfit again yesterday for the gallery show celebrating the end of her art camp. As I watched her walk around, I tried to pin down a sensation I'd had the previous evening, which wasn't exactly deja-vu, but definitely related. A little while ago, I sat down at the computer and saw the following image in my iPhoto window:All of a sudden it hit me. The combination of the outfit and Skylar's expression reminded me, both of the odds and ends in my paternal grandparents' bedroom, which struck my elementary-school mind as a space from another time, and of the family photographs I looked through when I was visiting my parents in December. I scanned a bunch of those. Sadly, the ones that most reminded me of my daughter's look were not among them. But I did find a few from the 1920s and 1930s that at least give some insight into why I was "tripping" yesterday and today:That's my paternal grandmother on the far right, my great aunt Louise on the left, and my dad's older sister Marion between them. Since Marion looks about five or six, this photograph is probably from 1928.
Whenever my dad looks at photos of Marion he remarks how much Skylar looks like her. And I agree with him, though this photograph doesn't demonstrate the similarity as well as others. What intrigues me right now, though, is the way that this old snapshot conjures up the era of Cabaret, the soundtrack for which has been on heavy rotation in our world for months. I look at Bean's outfit and feel like she's channeling a past to which she has no direct access, since it precedes all of her grandparents' attainment of self-awareness. But then I start detecting family resemblances and wonder whether its legacy hasn't reached her by other means.