Little Boy Playing Roles: Part 2

On through the photos we go, each sharing a clue or two. The photos show you trying on different identities.

Here you’re on your tricycle with red handlebar grips. You look somehow adventurous, as if you’re ready to pedal really fast and take turns tight and maybe pop a wheelie. You’re ready to be the next Evel Knievel, ready to go all Vin Diesel.

There you’re dressed as – holy crap! – Batman himself. Maybe it was Halloween. You’re all in black – black pants, black shirt, black cape, black mask with eyeholes. Your shirt bears the Batman ensignia, the bat silhouetted against a yellow backdrop.

But look now: you appear to be signaling toward us. You’re crouched forward, your head turned to the side, one eye visible and looking right at us, your left hand raised with palm out traffic-cop style. Maybe you’re ready to spring into action and save Gotham. Maybe you’ve already arrived on the scene for your big rooftop showdown with the Joker.

Whatever the case, you’re playing the hero here. And looking fully up to the job.

In that same vein, another photo shows you, all of maybe four years old, flexing your torso. You arms are out at your sides, bent at the elbow, your chest bare. Your face is a game face, all business.

I am the mightiest of the mighty, you seem to be saying here. Mess with me at your peril!

You look pretty fit here, your chest solid and your belly tight, but you’re still a few years away from being Hercules. Still, a child must dream, must fantasize, must flex the imagination along with the biceps, and here you’re doing just that. You’re all set to be larger than life.

In another photo, maybe a year or so later – you’re taller, more angular now – you’re again captured in a solo posedown. You stand before the camera, right arm upraised, left arm across your chest, your hands clenched into fists. I’m seated at the dining room table just behind you, acting agog at this display of raw testosterone.

I’ll close now with just one more photo. It shows you in a yet another role you loved to play: grandson. Grandma stands behind you, bending forward, almost cheek to cheek with you. Your head is tilted to the left to accommodate hers, her hand over your shoulder. Your eyes appear half-closed, as if you’re in a state of joy – the joy of safety and security and affection. Grandson was an identity you wore well, and wear to this day.

But wait! What’s this? The photo has another person in it. You’re gripping a shopping cart bearing a small child. It’s your sister Caroline. She’s there, too, maybe a year old. The photo says so much. Here’s Grandma behind you, just as she always would be. But here, too, as a bonus, is you behind Caroline, and you’re all ready to try on yet another identity. Big brother.

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