Andrew Sullivan yesterday posted a face of the day that reached back into his own past -- namely, a smiling, tow-headed little toddler in a gray sweater vest who would one day grow up to lead the charge for gay marriage and beat the drum for a misguided war in Iraq.
Though you don't really get all that future stuff from the picture -- all you really see is a chubby cheeked tyke in a vaguely halcyon English backyard and, in a second pic, a backyard family get-together that doesn't look all that different from some of my own family's pictures from the '60s.
Although I have to ask, is it wrong that I'm thinking Andrew's dad's kind of hot?
Anyhoo, while the topic and Andrew's blog predictably turned into a whole thing about Sarah Palin, what's more interesting to me, at least, is the unformed nature of our childhoods and how we tend to imprint our adult experiences onto our blank(ish) slates. "Ooo, he was so cute when he was little! What on earth went wrong?"
Just look at this picture of me and my mom -- how could you ever expect such a cuddly, sweet little thing to grow up to be the jaded, cynical monster I've become?
Or, from Christmas 1972 (or thereabouts), looking cute as a button and not at all like the guy who would go on to write obnoxiously opinionated columns and carry placards and agitate for all that gay stuff. In case you're wondering, I'm the boy on the right, next to my sleepy sister.
Things were so much easier then, especially because I wasn't always expected to wear pants.