It’s easy to see how much or how little a person has changed, when you know them well. When you watch someone grow up and see them every day, you see the changes as they grow, but, it is harder to picture an older person as a young person. Our memory of them is only after their features have aged. Then we find a picture of them as a child, and we can see the features that have stayed the same, and the ones that have changed. It can be very surprising to find that not so much has really changed.
When I came across these pictures of Bob’s great grandfather and these of my second cousin, Ted, I was amazed at the fact that I was able to tell that the younger versions were indeed them. It took me by surprise, especially with Ted, who I see just about every week. Yes, I know what he looks like now, but even though Ted is my second cousin, I was not aware of that fact until about 20 years ago, when our daughters were bowling together, so the thought of knowing what he looked like as a child never occurred to me. Then, as I was going through some of my mom’s old picture a few weeks ago, I came across this picture. It was so absolutely clear that this was my cousin Ted.
With Bob’s grandfather, I think it might be even more surprising, in that I never knew him well. In fact, I only met him on that one visit, about three months before he passed away. And yet, I could easily tell that this little boy was indeed Bob’s great grandfather. The jawline and the eyes, and even the way he held his head gave it away. I guess you never really change that much, even though we like to think we do through the years.
I often like to think about what these people might have been like as young children. That is how they would normally change the most. Of course, different times and different generations would have produced very different people, as children too. The times were very different when Bob’s grandfather was young, as compared to when my cousin Ted was young. Still, not so much has changed in the way children act and play, when they are little anyway. The main change I see, is the toys they play with. Computers would have been viewed as almost alien in Bob’s grandfather’s childhood, and we would laugh at their toys too, because much has changed in our world, but I don’t think people have really change all that much.