When my son was very small, he once gave me a tiny metal box filled with some of his most precious treasures: a gold button, a sparkly rock and a dime.
Of course, I still have the box. How could you even ask?
It’s in the drawer of my nightstand, along with other boxes full of such gifts: drawings, notes, more sparkly things, a ransom note from my son, a song my daughter wrote when she was 7 (“Nothing can go wrong when you sing this song, so when something is wrong, sing this song!”).
I cannot bring myself to throw out any of the gifts my children have given me over the years. I have them stashed all over the house.
In the kitchen is a teapot shaped like a duck, made by my son, and a tiny bottle that is perfect for holding tiny flowers picked by tiny hands.
On the windowsill is a drawing my daughter gave me just last year — a set of delicate pencil sketches she made of plants in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which is one of our favorite places to wander.
Tucked in my wallet is a little abstract collage made from construction paper by my daughter, and a handmade business card from my son, offering his services as a photographer.
Hanging on the bedroom wall are two portraits of me. One is a pencil drawing by my daughter, the other an oil pastel by my son. Both children correctly represented that I have brown hair and green eyes. Only one child remembered that I wear glasses.
On the wall in the hall are two paintings that the kids and I made as Mother’s Day gifts for their grandmothers, back when my daughter was 3 and my son was 1. My daughter dipped her hands in yellow paint, then made a circle of handprints to make a yellow flower. Then I dipped my son’s feet in red paint and made another flower using his footprints as the flower petals.
I really should have thought that through.
When the kids were 18 and 16, we re-created this project for Father’s Day. My son’s size-13 footprints wouldn’t fit on the page.
In my jewelry box are necklaces and bracelets made by the younger versions of my kids — which I am proud to wear, no matter how mismatched the beads may be.
I have two bracelets that my daughter won for me when she was in elementary school. She entered a Mother’s Day contest at a local jewelry store with an essay titled, “Why I Love My Mom.” (“I love my Mom because she makes sure that my brother and me are safe and that we’re cared for when we’re sick. I also love my Mom because she’ll play games with me and read to me. My Mom doesn’t have to buy a bunch of things for me to love her.”)
Apologies to all you other parents, but I really did get the best kids in the world.
Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.