Have you ever noticed all of the art that is plastered all over the refrigerator? Or when you walk into a friends house and you can’t help but notice the little drawings of stickmen and women that represent you and I as moms and dads? Have you ever taken the time to really notice the report card that has always seemed to go unnoticed by everyone?
As I step back and look at the amount of “refrigerator art” that my wife and I have collected I can’t help but smile. Every single picture, every name, every stickperson, every report card means something so much more significant than it seems to have had way back when. Every picture tells a story, they are all dated and a brief description is written mostly by my wife as to the story it tells, at least according to our children. It reminds me of how innocent children are, and how these pictures relate to how they are today.
I remember as a child I had once drawn a picture of my brothers and I having a competition as to who could pee the furthest. Yes, I did that! My mother asked me what it was and I told her that it was of course me and my brothers peeing. The part I did not tell her is that the contest was to see who could pee as far as the fence, the one to do that was victorious. My brothers let me win and I quickly found out why. The fence was electrified, and let me tell you it really is a significant shock to your system!
I was in serious accident a few years back and my son was at a friends for a sleepover. My wife was at home at the time and she got in touch with our son to let him know what was going on. We live in a very remote area and our nearest hospital was about a 45 minute drive. My son Matthew, who was 13 at the time made a bee line on his bicycle to where I was (I was at a mens retreat at a christian camp, and we were all on ATV’s getting ready for a eight hour ride) but I was told later that he watched the ambulance drive by him as he made his way to me. He later wrote about that experience, his thoughts and his fears. He thought for sure he was going to lose me that day. I still have the letter that he wrote, and I will never part with it.
My middle daughter Elizabeth who for the longest time was tongue in cheek around everyone except us was and remains to be a treasure. She was analytical then and remains to be today. She has always put alot of pressure on herself to be the best she could be. Her refrigerator art was precise and beautiful. She liked to use all the colors available to her in her pictures and in her stories. Her name was always beautifully written in color. My wife and I still have every single piece of “art” that she made in her opinion, refrigerator worthy.
And then I have the baby of the family, Cailea, who is today exactly who I expected her to be. She is a free spirit and has a true passion for life. She is beautifully poetic and artsy. She has a love of children and surrounds herself with them at the local YMCA where she works part time while in school. Her creativity is breathtaking and it shows in everything she does. There is so much of her energy that I can’t help but smile about the fact that her mother and I did something right with her as well.
As the years go by and those memories remain on the refrigerator, I hope that we are all able to back on them as “good times” in each of our lives. Our children are the ones responsible for bringing so much joy to our lives, and if there is but one person who doesn’t understand this than they must be wearing dark glasses and not able to see the true joy those refrigerator memories bring to us later in life. Cherish those thoughts, those ideas, and most importantly, cherish the true memories that you have filed in your memory banks all these years. These are what really matters.