the little things

I had two other picture related moments of joy this past week. The first one reminded me that kids really do pick up on silly little things we do without thinking. I have this thing that I do with the boys where we stretch out our arms and say "I love you this much". When they were babies I would stretch their tiny little arms out & say it. We've always done it. It's as common around here as just saying hi, so naturally I never assumed it would be any big deal to them. T came home with a valentine for me from preschool. In it was a picture of him with outstretched arms that his teacher took and he wrote, all by himself, "mom, I love you this much!". I cried a little bit. It was great. The other one came after I had to give my dad back all of our family photo albums. Both of my parents were amateur photographers. We have a lot of pictures. After their divorce, my mom got half and my dad got the other half. We don't have any contact with my mom, so what we've got is all we'll get. He was storing them in his garage, so I took them in for safe keeping. Well, he took them back last week. He says it's temporary, but I know my dad. I'm not getting them back. Anyway, after I got home from dropping them off, I started picking up around the house and to my surprise found my all-time, absolute favorite picture of my dad laying on the coffee table. Evidently, it had fallen out of it's album when I was packing them all up to go. It's taken in the early 60's, but to look at it you guess it's sometime in the mid 50's. My dad is 15ish, hair in a pompadour, hunched over trying to light his cigarette, the guitar he still plays to this day propped up next to him. His mom took it, and it's great. And it's still mine. It makes me happy.