On this day in 1952 Nana was born, the last kid in a long line of Johnson children, she was number 7, if I remembered everyone and counted properly. This picture perfectly captures what it must've been like to grow up in South Boston, the baby of such a big family. I love the expression - so snarky but also so patient - as if to say, "yes, this is just one of the many things they make me do". Maybe it is because she is short, or maybe it is the silly expression, but something about it reminds me of La Luz.
Here she is a few years later talking to Santa. She looks a little unsure. Maybe that is where La Luz's fear of holiday icons comes from:
and then in one of her favorite places, poolside with La Luz:
I guess maybe what you can't tell from the pictures is that Nana is one of the kindest people I know. If there is anything about Nana that I want to rub off on La Luz it is her openness to and acceptance of others and her inherent ability to love unconditionally. It is not that she is a martyr or anything, I simply haven't ever heard Nana speak judgmentally about another person. I think that is pretty incredible because I do it all the time, without realizing it. Christian has inherited some of that trait but I think he has become too jaded somehow. My hope is that things will be different for La Luz, that she will grow up with a similar pure and loving heart. That and the ability to do the electric slide flawlessly are two enviable traits, and I hope La Luz inherits them both.
So, Happy Birthday Nana...we love you and wish we could be there with you to celebrate!