Age and time are funny things. Not ha-ha funny; but 'odd', 'curious', 'strange', 'incomprehensible'. Some years ago, I was having a conversation with Grandmother about getting older, and she was probably in her late 70's about the time. Her observation on aging has always stuck with me, and this is what she said, "I'm always surprised when I look in the mirror and an old woman looks back at me!" It just has a way of sneaking up on us, and I felt very snuck up on today.
As these things were running constantly through my mind today, a funny thing happened. This kind of funny was 'unexpected', 'surprising', 'poignant'. While John and I were rearranging and cleaning the kids' old bedrooms so we can make them into useful guest rooms, I decided to open the old wicker trunk that had sat in Katie's room for years. I had bought that trunk as a newlywed and it had served many purposes, but for the last many years it had been the "Dress-up Trunk" where the kids had kept dress-up clothes - and had apparently tossed in a few other things.
Among the first things I saw was the musical base for the crib mobile. Did it still work? I wound it up and it began playing Brahm's Lullaby just as if 30 years had never happened. My heart began to melt and I continued searching through the trunk. Some of the things I found were:
Eric's old flannel shirt that he literally lived in while a teen.
One of Kristin's ballet slippers, and some 80's era dresses.
Justin's pirate costume, and the little police vest that got us out of a ticket one time!
Katie's tiny ballet costume.
One of Mama's square-dancing petticoats that she gave the girls for dancing in.
Tiny little aprons and chef's hats that Aunt Anna made for Justin and Katie when they made cookies with her.
A vest that Aunt Anna had made for Kristin.
Kristin's YMCA Indian Princess vest.
Eric's knitted cowboy sweater that he had as a little boy.
A onesy sunsuit that Grandmother had made for Katie.
Justin's Boxwell t-shirt.
The remains of an electronic science experiment.
A sheriff's badge.
A Cub Scout belt.
A toy horse.
So perhaps today, on the birthday of my youngest, the Lord gave me a gift: a living photograph of my children's lives. But they themselves have been the best gift of all.