I was 17 and following my mom’s tradition of making birthday collages when I made this for my mom. I don’t remember making it, but I know I did make collages — Just like Mom did for me and other folks.
I’ve written about Mod Podge before, but only about my Mom’s use of it. I also made things out of ModPodge. I think my mom must have been losing her keys a lot so I made her a very large keychain using a block of wood, magazine clippings, and Mod Podge.
My mom made me this poster for my 17th birthday. I don’t remember her making it nor actually receiving it, but I do remember my mom’s decoupage phase. She made posters for everyone — they were good too. She’d tailor them perfectly to the person. She was always saving magazines and clipping out the bits that she thought would be good on a poster for someone. We always had a jar of Mod Podge handy at home, in case we needed to decoupage something quickly.
Anyway, my poster. It had a pocket watch with the time I was born depicted in both the position of the hands and in writing along the bottom edge. Elgin, where I was born, was known for their watches, so perhaps the pocket watch also symbolized that.
The poster also had a copy of my first photograph — all 3 pounds, 9 ounces of me — with my astrological description pasted below. My daughter likes this photograph of me because of my pointy ear. She says it proves I am of either fairy or Elven blood. My dad’s name is Elvin, so perhaps she’s right.
Mom also included an image of my astrological sign on the poster. One of us, I guess, was into astrology at the time. I suspect it was her, but perhaps I was too.
Finally, the poster has a drawing of two women at the doorway of a room. One is older, heavy with glasses, and the other young and slender. A black cat rubs against the leg of the younger woman. The younger woman holds a floor lamp, frying pan and a goldfish bowl. She stands near a suitcase.
I think this depicted me moving into my new room. The drawing probably came from a magazine showing someone getting let into her first apartment, but my mom saw it and thought it could represent me moving to my new room. Either that or it was a not-so-subtle hint that it was nearly time for me to move out.
The cat is Cinder. I didn’t have a lamp like that and didn’t own a goldfish, but otherwise, she got it right!
The writing on the poster says:
17 Years Later
Love From Mom
It’s cool that I found this a few months before my own daughter turns 17. I think I know what my mother felt, having a firstborn daughter so close to adulthood. Pride. Disbelief. Sadness. Hope.
I guess it’s time to go buy a jar of Mod Podge.