The Picture On My Refrigerator Door

Posted: February 23, 2010 in The Roper Files
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My refrigerator and its contents are pretty typical of your average bachelor: mustard, mayo, some soft drinks and little if any actual food. But amidst my collection of refrigerator magnets is a 11 X 14 inch piece of beige paper. One edge is tattered where it has been pulled out of a spiral binding.

 It is a Valentines Day present drawn for me by a Certain Someones 4-year old grandson. To the untrained eye it appears to be a collection of crudely drawn red hearts and squiggly lines. One might well look at it and ask: “What in the hell is this?” So in the spirit of investigative curiosity I went straight to the source. Being four years old he took no offense when I asked him (over the phone) what it was. “It’s me and Froggy ( a stuffed frog from a dollar store I sent him two weeks ago) climbing a ladder up to a room.”

Hit myself in the side of the head; why didn’t I see that?

You explain perspective to a four-year-old; I can only admire the magical imagination of a child and the simple logic behind it. He goes on to explain the hearts are him telling me he loves me ( Aw…)  and asks me if I like the picture. I tell him I love it and I love him too; then he puts Grandma back on the phone.

 As we speak I can hear her grandson in the background chattering happily and playing. She tells me that when she mailed the picture to me his instructions were that I put the picture on my refrigerator and take a photo of myself with it so that he knows it got here. Didn’t know there were conditions involved, but I comply with my instructions. So I dig out one of my tripods from the closer, sit in front of the fridge and position my camera and tripod in front of me. Across the room I place a mirror so I can see the screen on the back of my Kodak. Slip on my prescription sunglasses just in case I forgot to turn off the flash and also so I can look as cool as I can sitting in front of a four-year-old child’s picture.

 Snap the photo, e-mail it to her. She shows it to him; she writes back and says he’s amazed his picture actually went 4000 miles and he is all smiles. Mission accomplished.

She asks me if I’m going to take it down now; I tell her “no way” partially because I know better and partially because I am touched the little guy made it for me. My friends can scratch their heads or laugh at it; I couldn’t care less what they think. Every morning I get up, fix coffee and there it is in my face as I pour that first cup.

Froggy and that little boy climbing a stairway to heaven; if that isn’t an inspirational bit of mental imagery, I don’t know what is…


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