It should have been a banner year, a year of achievement in a young life.
It went mostly unnoticed.
It came up a few days ago when a classmate posted a photo of my YWCA Babysitter Certification class from 1964.
It was from the local newspaper, to which my family subscribed, but no one took note of it; I’d never seen it before.
This was the year my mother was caring for a baby of 11 months, and a newborn. These 2 babies, and their slightly older brother, aged 3, changed the course of my life as I took on far more responsibility for their upbringing than was natural.
It was the year that I went to the head of my class, representing my school in a state Spelling Bee. My prize was a Kodak Instamatic, the first of many cameras, setting up my lifelong role as family photographer.
It was the year I performed a piano solo in concert, and cut my bangs to look a bit more like Diana Ross, whose persona I recreated in a lip sync group that performed favorites from the Supremes.
It was the year I set up financial independence, opened my first bank savings account, bought my own clothing, took on regular babysitting jobs to finance my adolescent expenses.
I took leadership roles in school, church and Girl Scouts. I attended my first boy/girl dance, developed my first real crush, watched my friends blossom into young women, prayed that I’d soon reach that coveted 100 pounds.
This is not meant to be a sad post. I don’t regret the circumstances that forced me to develop my independence; they did me a favor.
Thanks to my friend Mark Bialczak, whose post earlier today inspired this one.