I was blessed with an idyllic childhood - homeschooled bliss in the lush green of Vermont.. My parents were, and remain, crunchy-granola Christians, my siblings little headstrong balls of energy that have grown into bigger headstrong balls of energy in cleaner clothes. Over Christmas of 2015 Dad culled a couple of hours of home video footage from the days he's got stored up and we traveled back in time to the spring and summer of 1997.
Beth was nine, I was six and Julia had just turned five. Avery was on the way - the footage shows a very pregnant Mom supervising tiny bike riders, combing blond hair, and resting on the couch before May 13th, Mother's Day 1997, when my brother came into the world. Later that summer, after my seventh birthday, we went to Cape Cod on vacation.
Watching the footage that Christmas Eve night captivated me. Forgotten snapshots flashed across the screen - a blue tulle ballet recital, my father dozing in a patch of sunlight, my mother a windswept goddess on a brown beach stretching into forever. I borrowed the film and pulled out a collection of stills - fleeting moments that evaporated into giggles, tears, screams or sighs. A low-resolution memory of the Kravitz family.
Mom, pregnant with Avery, watches Julia ride her bike.
Julia makes faces while Mom combs her hair.
Friends pull candles off Julia's fifth birthday cake - Mom's homemade ice cream and oreo specialty.
Julia opens birthday presents in the family room.
Dad catches Beth reading a book to Julia in the morning.
Avery kicks inside Mom a couple of weeks before his birth.
Julia and Mom rest together after the birth of Avery, Mother's Day 1997.
Beth and I meet our new brother.
Julia gives me dance advice as I practice in the family room.
Julia and I perform together in a ballet recital.
Beth blows a bubble for the camera.
Shaving cream and water balloons, as per my request, at my seventh birthday party.
Beth brings me an ice cream cake at my seventh birthday party.
Beth, Julia and I with grandpa on the porch.
The beach, as filmed by my father, at Cape Cod.
Mom holds Avery as Julia and I fly a kite behind her at Cape Cod.
Mom balances Avery and Julia.
Avery looks up at Mom on the beach.
Father and son nap time at Cape Cod.
Julia giggles before bedtime.
Avery naps on the beach.
I cover myself in sand, my favorite childhood beach activity.