I’ve only seen two photographs of my parents before they had my sister and me. One is a typical wedding photo. They’re walking down the aisle at Saint Joseph’s as a newly married couple, my mom in a short-sleeved gown she made herself and my dad in a light grey tuxedo. Their arms are linked and they’re looking out into the pews of people.
The second is a photo from before they were married. They’re camping somewhere in Maine, sitting on a rock with their arms around each other — the same way you’d wrap your arm around your best friend. There’s a curving tree line behind them. My mom’s wearing a wool sweater she still has, her hair is down and frizzy. Even with the soft black-and-white grain, you can tell she’s still a natural, light blonde. (Her hair turned brown when she was pregnant with me.) My dad has a mustache. It looks odd to me; I’ve only known him with a full beard. He’s smiling, his eyes curled up into half-moons. He looks a lot like I do when I smile.