|Eric with the chicken pox and with our bare-eyed cockatoo Genius, last week of March, 1996.|
My son Eric is about to start graduate school (brag time: where he received a teaching assistantship and a tuition waiver, by the way, AND he was accepted into four other programs). He has to fill out a health form and provide proof of immunity for, among other things, chicken pox.
My son was born before the chicken pox vaccine came out. I was pretty sure he'd had chicken pox in fourth grade, but the form required an exact DATE. Month, day, year. So, I scrambled around looking for something with that information
I knew I had a photo of Eric with the chicken pox. Sure enough, I found it. Unfortunately, I had committed a mortal sin for family historians - I did not write any information on the back of the photo.
Some years ago, I put all my family photos into photo-safe albums in chronological order. Other events pictured before and after this photo told me it was indeed in the fourth grade, most likely in the spring. I also knew, from my Christmas newsletter from 1995, that we had acquired our pet bird Genius in July 1995 - which again confirmed that this photo was in fourth grade.
I even save old calendars, but alas, I did not note his illness on the 1996 calendar I'd saved. However, a little more digging through another file (mostly full of stuff I should have thrown away long ago) turned up this letter. Note the date and the first sentence of the last paragraph:
I thought I'd include photos from a couple other events that Eric mentions in his letter. At left, Eric is dressed as George Washington for the "Festival of the Famous," the culmination of a biography unit his class did that year. We found a lot of the stuff he is wearing at thrift stores. I turned a pair of dress pants with holes in the knees into knee breeches.
And below is a (not very good) picture of Eric with his first place trophy from the Math Olympiads - rather fitting, since he majored in history and mathematics as an undergraduate, and is about to go off to study applied financial mathematics at the University of Connecticut.
And - his birthday is tomorrow! Happy birthday, Eric!
(And the moral of this story?
On the backs, in soft pencil or with a china marker--don't press down hard with either--WRITE the names of the people in your photographs, the location where it was taken, and the date it was taken! You'll thank me later!)
© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.