As I have previously noted, I am one of seven children. When I calculate it out, that means that my mother was pregnant 63 months of her life! That figure astonishes me. But another figure that astonishes me is the wonderful black and white photo of my mom that I have where she is wearing her black Jansen swimsuit. She has long flowing black hair, she is casually leaning against the wall of the pier with a fishing rod.
I can recall that as little kids we were playing on the beach. My mom was walking by herself, several feet away, wearing that black Jansen swimsuit. There were several young men, probably of college age, passing by, who caught a look at this brunette beauty. I distinctly remember one of them saying, "Hot Dog, what a lady!" Word quickly spread among the kids and we ran up and told her, thinking that was really a funny comment. I can remember the guys' faces fell when they realized that she had a whole tribe of children.
We laughed for years and would repeat that comment to my mother who always giggled. When I found the photo a few months ago, I looked at her again through new eyes. I now see what they saw: not a mother of 7 children with all the chores and challenges that go with the hardest job in the world, but a woman blessed with long, flowing hair, grace and beauty. Hot dog, what a lady!