In the top of the hallway closet, there’s a faded hatbox, covered with Raphael’s Cherubs from the Sistine Madonna. If I remember correctly, I purchased it at Hobby Lobby about twenty-five years ago. Inside are cherubs of my own, photographs of Drew and Lauren before the era of digital cameras. They have matching brown eyes, chubby cheeks, and full-mouthed smiles, the ones that say, Every day is the best day ever!
Here they are ages four and two, inside their Playskool playhouse, on the covered back patio of our first north Texas home. Honeysuckle grows on the chain link fence in the background. Drew with a smug, closed-mouth grin, his arm wrapped around Lauren’s neck, her mouth open wide and tongue sticking out, sort of like she’s choking, but there’s a smile behind the joke, and their eyes sparkle with mischief.
Here is Drew’s five-year-old birthday. His Chuck E. Cheese hat covers his soft brown curls, and he holds up a Power Ranger sheet, the matching pillow case in Lauren’s hand, and more of everything Power Ranger litters the living room floor—posters and coloring books, placemats and dishes and cups.
In a Halloween photo from the same year, Drew wears an eye patch and a red paisley doo-rag, a bushy, black pirate mustache and beard. A butterfly mask covers Lauren’s eyes. She’s two and three-quarters, and she wears a headband with sparkly antennae atop her still-blonde hair and wings the colors of Halloween, black, yellow, and orange.
If only I had appreciated these moments more at the time. They slipped away too soon. Thank God for the hatbox and happy memories! And you know what? Honeysuckle covers a section of fence here in our backyard, too. And the fragrance is heavenly.
During April, I’m reflecting on life, feeling grateful, and taking on the A-Z blogging challenge. I appreciate you for reading today! If you liked this one, click the links to the others below.