So, in 1985 this happened:
Yes. That would be me, at age 9, holding a wild baby bear. (Apologies for the picture of a picture. My scanner/crap PC is currently out of commission, and I am counting the days until my tax return comes because Mama is getting herself a Mac.)
I don’t remember the circumstances that lead to me holding said baby bear. I’m guessing that one of my “outdoorsy” family members came across that adorable creature in the wild after killing its mother for sport, and decided to bring it home before taking it to the Wildlife Rescue, but I’m not sure. I honestly don’t even remember the experience itself. But here you have it, photographic proof of me holding an honest-to-goodness wild animal. It’s also evidence that at age 9, I let my mother dress me in button down shirts and too-tight navy blue khakis. Thanks for that, Linda.
This was one of just a few pictures that my grandmother had sent along when my parents dropped in for a visit this weekend. Apparently she “has no use for them” since she “won’t be around much longer anyway” *insert dramatic sigh* and thought I would get a kick out of seeing them. My reaction? “That’s a BEAR. WHY AM I HOLDING A BEAR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD?” and also “Nice pants, dork.”
Seeing this picture makes me wonder what else from my childhood I’ve forgotten. Of course I remember many things– There are the happy memories, Christmas mornings and that awesome afternoon one late spring I came home to find a pool going up in the front yard; and the not-so-happy ones, of my dear great-grandmother’s passing and finding out the hard way that I’m allergic to hornet stings; but the other stuff — sleepovers and Sunday morning rituals and sunny days in the garden — they’ve all blurred together and no matter how many pictures have been taken I know I’ll never get them back. It’s not a sad thing, really. I just can’t help but think that if we all knew as children how quickly time passes then maybe we would have stopped once in a while to soak it all in and enjoy it, instead of forgetting about that one Spring afternoon when we got to hang out with a really cute baby bear.