Hidden Treasure

My family and I are facing some difficult transitions at the moment. Opportunities are surfacing that mostly serve to highlight the constraints an extended stay in graduate school has imposed. I don’t know what next month will look like, but I do understand that taming our house is a key component of any path before us.

When my three kids and wife headed north for a quick visit with her sister in Chicago, I spent the bulk of my time attacking some of our cluttered rooms in our house. These are both well-used and forgotten places that make our house seem smaller than it is. I knew my short window of time wasn’t going to be enough to go through every box of flotsam that a dozen years has brought to our shores, so I focused on finding the floor in every room.

In the process, there were some drawers and rarely seen places under immobile furniture that yielded a few magical scraps. This is the mined gold that makes the cleaning process worthwhile.

My family frequently makes trips to the local museums in Chicago when traveling there. At some point in the last two years, they found a photobooth at the Chicago Children’s Museum and entertained each other with crazy faces:

Family in the Photobooth

My Family in a photobooth

Archie loved to use his newfound writing skills to brighten someone else’s day. In this case, his sweet note to his mom had a secondary effect of brightening my lonely day a few years later:

Archie Message

Archie leaves a note for Mom

Back when Carter was an only child, Amy would spend time with him talking about me and planning surprises. One of my favorites was a Father’s Day gift box filled with arts and crafts and little notes. I’m reasonably certain that this laminated message came from that box. It wasn’t completely sealed, so the writing is a bit smeared:

Carter's Favorite Thing

One of Carter's favorite things

This one was bittersweet. Carter’s dictated sentiment—”My favorite thing is to play downstairs with Daddy.”—reminded me of how few of those homemade craft kits in that box we actually completed.