My Idol... When I Was 6
I remember being 6 and studying photos of the Kennedy family in Life and Look magazines. I idolized young Caroline. I wanted to live in her world, with her pony and sailboats.
I fantasized that I was Caroline and that my 2-year-old brother was John John. I often hoped that strangers were fooled, when they spotted my brother and me in the park or on the ferry. I even had a Caroline Kennedy doll.
Happy Birthday Caroline
Today is Caroline's birthday, which means we are both now 60 years old. I doubt she would care to join me with my celebration, which focusses on the fun of being 6.
Days later, our family of 6 drove late at night from Staten Island to D.C. where we slept in a parking lot. We crawled out early, in the frigid temps to join the crowds awaiting the procession. I strained to spot Caroline.
My memories of what I saw in D.C., soon became tangled with the images I saw on TV and in magazines. However, my memory of the lingering sadness in our home remains vivid. I recall sitting in the apartment, slowly turning the pages of this very Life magazine, shown above. I absorbed every photo and studied Caroline's sad face. I couldn't imagine what had happened to her father.
Today I found a positive way to celebrate the young girl I once adored. I didn't reach for my old doll. I picked up a book of poems that I gave my mom, about 10 years ago.
The poems were selected by Caroline, because her mother had loved them. I felt just a little bit like I was enjoying the poems with my own mom. Years ago, Mom tagged her favorites. Finding her markers and reading the ones that had touched her, made my celebration all the sweeter.