I wish I had a hundred rooms. To fill with the creations of my children’s’ imaginative minds. I’m sad to see them in the trash, as they are. They fish them out…sad that I’d toss their treasures. But little do they realize they’re my treasures too… The swirls of color, scribbles from Claire…a jagged concentrated effort to make a face…round, uneven eyes, a straight line makes a mouth, two straight lines are the body. When she finishes one picture she looks up at me, open-mouthed, pure glee, eyes wide…she can’t believe she made such a masterpiece. I feel her heart as she shows me and my own aches knowing that soon these drawings will be more realistic. And I don’t want them to. I want her to stay my baby. The letters Grace writes…sometimes swirly with curls at the ends, just like my own writing when I try to make it fancy, sometimes bubble letters, sometimes just true kindergarten block letters, words spelled just how they sound “a nether” for another and “noo” for new…I look at her work and I see her face concentrating, tongue sticking slightly out, fingers pressed hard on the pencil turning her fingernails white, trying to get that pencil it to move how she wants…to make beautiful work. Elle’s careful hand, “MASH” swirls she’s made with her friends, silly ways to determine the color or her future wedding dress, who she will marry, how many kids she’ll have (1, 3, or 1,000 are some of the choices). Princesses with hearts and stars surrounding them have graduated to flowers and girls and families, complete with a baby Lucy with a one-line curl on her head. Enough to melt my heart but then there are the notes as well. Love notes to me. She writes to me that she never wants another mom. She wants to take pictures like me. She is thankful for things, and she writes them down, carefully, beautifully, a note on my pillow. How can I capture this. Forever. Fantasy guys from Max, carefully, perfectly drawn, lines erased and re-drawn, no mistakes…thought out, a copy of the cover of his favorite Play Station game, an idea from some crazy cartoon character, inspiration from books or shows. Dark pencil lines because he pushes hard from his concentration, methodically transferring these figures from his brain to the paper spread out before him. When he writes he likes to write in big block letters, usually with shadows protruding behind them…very artistic, tidy. Even his handwriting is neat. He’s transformed from the most sloppy writing I can scarcely depict to beautiful letters, he takes his time writing them perfectly. So you wonder why I’d like one hundred rooms. No, I don’t want a grandeous house lavish with rooms upon rooms to make it my mansion, I simply want a place I can keep my treasures, the papers and papers that pile up day after day at the end of trails of markers, pencils and crayons. I can’t keep up with them but I wish I could keep them forever.