- Boys running imaginary bases in the living room
- Waking up at night in our full-sized bed and having 4 children laying between us ... on us ... over us (you get the picture)
- Having my son tell me he was going to live with me forever (he's a liar)
- Crawling in to the hospital bed with my daughter as she had tubes both going in to her and coming out of her. I remember trying to not squash any of the tubes or the cords, but she wanted me to hold her ... and there wasn't much that I wanted any more than that.
- Opening Christmas presents at 4:00 in the morning. Our pictures weren't very impressive that year. It was dark outside, and my husband and I had only had about 2 hours of sleep because we had been putting toys together. But the kids had awakened, been put back to bed, awakened again, put back to bed again, and awakened yet again before we finally gave up.
- The anatomically correct picture of me getting out of the shower that my son made for the Mother's Tea at preschool (Momma learned to lock the bathroom door).
- The note that one son gave to his brother threatening that "I know where you sleep". He didn't sign it ... just drew a face wearing glasses (he was the only child we had who ever wore glasses).
- The letter that my daughter wrote to the family that she now wanted to be called Lightning because she could run really fast.
I continue to hang on to memories though. They're just not as "tangible" as the anatomically correct drawing or the photo of two boys covered in mascara and lipstick. They're more in my mind -- young adults sitting around a table playing a game, hollering and laughing ... getting a phone call to ask my advice ... helping with college homework in a class I've never taken before ... experiencing my husband and our sons watching a football game together (and it IS an experience, let me tell you! Shouting, body contortions, jumping, and screams. Gotta love it!). Regardless of how the memories are made, whether they're drawn or photographed or merely lived, they're all priceless and precious ... and have made me extremely grateful for what I've been given in the gifts of my children.