My mother occasionally took it upon herself to sew or crochet us matching outfits. I remember how I felt while my brother was taking each of these photos. In the first one (1972) we were on our way to my kindergarten graduation. My bangs were straight (which wasn't always the case), my mother had pulled my hair up into a pony, I was wearing my favorite scuffed shoes, and I loved how the crocheted poncho enveloped me. I can still feel the comfort of the red-green-yellow fringes in my fingers. I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world.
Fast forward to 1975. I'm in a quilted skirt with a scratchy liner and a matching too-tight neckerchief. My white blouse felt too big and bulky and made me feel ugly. My teeth were crooked. It was near Christmas, which was never an easy time for our three-person family. Mostly, I remember that I didn't feel like smiling or holding my mother's hand. But I was aware that doing so would make her happy, so I tried. Sort of.
In 2000, my mother was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She would live another five and a half years before finally succumbing on August 2, 2006. This photo is from a New York Times article about Oregon's Death with Dignity Law. I remember how excited she was when she told me that the NYT was coming out to Oregon to do a story about HER. She just couldn't believe it.
Fast forward to 2009. Yes, today I donned my mother's orange sweater and Mayan earrings, and had my children take a picture of me "just like Granny". It's never too late to have matching outfits.