On 25 August 1990, my parents took me to Midlothian Masonic Lodge 211 to get my Child Identification Card.
The trip to Masonic Lodge 211 involved getting fingerprinted and having this adorable photo taken of me to identify me with. I'm wearing a yellow-green tank top and multi-colored shorts. My hair was still Hite-family-blonde and my cheeks squeesibly-chubby. Behind me reads, "Prized Possession."
As a little kid, my hair was bleach-blonde. My dad loved - and still remembers with pride - that I had a mullet: spiky on top, with a long rat tail in the back. One day in March 1989, when I was 18 months old, I got a hair cut. I guess it was just to get the hair off of my ears, but my parents kept some of that hair as a keepsake. It's like they knew I wouldn't always have blonde hair - or much hair at all for that matter - and they wanted to remember this moment forever.
In September 1987, I was born. I was a nearly bald, very chubby, Chippenham baby. You see, I was born at Chippenham Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. My dad was sure that the German doctor who delivered me had somehow broken me, leaving me with a cone-head. Thankfully the 1993 film had yet to come out...and even more thankfully, my head went back to normal!
Going through old mementos of my childhood isn't always a happy experience. Many memories are best left in the past.
But these pictures remind me that my sister and I were our parents' "prized possessions." Whether they were doting over our art, admiring our mud-pies or the holes we dug out back, or the birds I could identify...our parents cultivated and praised our interests and talents.
And they - like unbeknownst family historians - preserved like time capsules the evidence of their most prized possessions: their children.
My ancestors - and your ancestors - deserve the best researcher, the most passionate story-teller, and the dignity of being remembered. So let's keep encountering our ancestors through family history and remembering the past made present today!