Sunday, January 9, 2011
Fascinating Family Album
Here's a great picture. Even if you don't know anyone in the photo, it is just fun to look at all these Southern women in their hats. I happen to know this is a meeting of the garden club and the hats were worn for fun. And doesn't it look like they were having a fun time of it.
But what I've begun to find so fascinating is how much my family members in the photo stick out. Can you spot 'em? I think of the song from Sesame Street, "one of these things is not like the other one, one of these things just doesn't belong." In this case there's two.
First there's my Grandmother. She's right in the very middle of the group. Now, she never did like to be photographed, but this is probably one of the best I've seen of her. She's smiling as much as I've ever seen in a picture. But still, what a mug. She just doesn't seem to be having as much fun as the others.
Then there's her mother, my Great Grandmother. She's to the far right of the photo. She also didn't care to be photographed and is likewise smiling as much as I've ever seen in any photo we have of her. But she is so obviously removed from the others. Not only is there a gap revealing a few empty chairs, she is not wearing a hat. She just doesn't seem to be playing well with the others.
Now as far as I can recall, I was not aware that my family members had any particular difficulties fitting into their community or getting along. Although my father was often described as "stoic" and my grandparents as "eccentric", they were members of all the right clubs and socialized as Southern men and women were expected to.
There is all sorts of speculation about the rise in autism. Perhaps the least satisfying response is that there is merely an increase in the diagnosis rather than the instances of it. I have a hard time accepting that as the only reason. But then I can't help but keeping looking for a source and a reason. And when I look at my family albums and pictures like these, I do seem to find something interesting, perhaps telling.
As someone commented on one of ProfessorMother.com 's blogs, "Cats don't have dogs, do they."