In a rarely used dresser drawer, tucked under old scarves, faded programs and, inexplicably, my dad’s college diploma, I found a little stack of joy yesterday.
Love notes from my children drawn with fat fingers, dull crayons and sweet little earnest eyes; they turned an ordinary tidying project into an afternoon of lovely nostalgia.
Artwork hung from every corner of my kitchen at one time, taped on white cabinets and stuck to refrigerator doors. In the heyday of my parenting I could see the children from my front porch as they tramped home from school, giant squares of Tempera painted sheets proudly held aloft.
We taped the bulk of them on the walls leading to the basement, framed the best and put away the special ones in cabinets and, apparently, dresser drawers.
We are not particularly gifted in the visual arts in my family and sometimes I had to ferret out the details of a project to determine what the child had drawn.
Except when they drew me, thanks to the way they painted my hair. Clementine, burnt orange, mango tango, burnt sienna, lobster red and flamingo pink, my hair looked glorious in my children’s eyes.
They have stretched a little taller now and can’t walk home from where they are. I store their messages electronically and my kitchen cabinet doors shine, clutter free.
Grown up children offer their own joy and we laugh as much today as we did 20 years ago.
In the midst of a boring winter cleaning project, though, it’s nice to stumble on a paper path to yesterday.