Christina M. Currie: Parental archaeology
You can tell what’s important to children by what you find in their beds in the morning. It’s the stuff that wasn’t there when you put them to sleep, but important enough that they snuck out in the dark — after being threatened with 1,000 lashes if they set one limb out of bed — to get.
Sometimes, you find stuff they’ve given no other indication that was any value to them. Three-year-old Nikki took the dollar bill her grandfather gave her, took three steps, threw it on the floor and then went back to her other game.
A few days later, I caught a glimpse of the dollar and a tube of toothpaste under her pillow.
Your guess is as good as mine.
There’s a sweetness to it that always makes me smile — no matter how amusing the item. It’s always touching.
A card arrived in the mail for Katie. She hardly could wait for me to open the envelope. When she saw the kitten saying “happy birthday,” she immediately said “I love it, Mom.” There was cash inside that she handed to me as she ran off to talk to her kitty alone.
She slept with the card that night and cried the next morning when she couldn’t find it (that’s always a risk).
A few mornings later, I found a button sporting a picture of Leapin’ Lena in her bed. The day before, she had the chance to ride in the crazy car that Colorado Shriners bring to parades. Her grandfather is a Shriner, and she always associates him with parades.
Last year, she didn’t have the courage to get into the back of the not-quite-factory Model T. This year, she rode one time. Cousin Isiac, incidentally, rode seven times, saying “they made me ride because they needed the weight.”
Katie refused a second chance to ride in the car. I took that to mean that she really didn’t enjoy it the way her cousin did, and that made the button I found in her bed all the more special. She didn’t have it to remind her of the ride, but to remind her of her grandfather, who made the ride possible.
And whom she loves.
At least that’s why I think she did it. I could be completely wrong. It could’ve been there because it was the closest thing Nikki could find to throw.
Who knows? It’s kind of like archaeology — you’re making your best attempt at an educated guess.
I prefer to think that my first guess was right so that I continue to enter their room every morning ready to be amazed at what I learn. Every day offers more insight into the people they are and the things they love.
You can never go wrong knowing what your children love.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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After 30 years in its current spot in the Centennial Mall, the Big O Tires in Craig is moving on up.