Friday, March 14, 2014

A Card (Or Two) For Mom

I so often find things I want to show you here and then I don't.  There is a temporality to them that I sometimes can't beat.  Sadly, they get lost, get played with to destruction, get buried in a pile, fade - colored paper in the sun - forgotten, I am ashamed to say.

So, it's Marci's birthday today and the boys made these for her and, well, uh...  I documented them before she even saw them.  I knew she would like to show them around and perhaps keep that at work.  Yes, a preemptive blog fodder strike.  And, yes, I should know better.

This is Nick's, he made a sort-of-report-card-not-birthday-partying-animals-card, uh, card.

This is the envelope:

This is the front:

This is the inside first page, that's a "loud Speaker" there in the corner.  Yeah, turn the page, if you dare:

Yes, on this parchment- no, vellum-like paper, erased over and over again, lovingly rendered, photo-realistic in approach are "Dancing Anamals."  The tiger is working a turntable, obviously, and "wicky wicky" is the sound a scratchin' tiger makes.  There is a little dancing egg just at the wingtip of the tap-dancing chicken.  Yes.  What's hard to express in a single moment is the sense of rhythm, but, that rabbi is really keeping time as hippo "stompity-stomps" and the turtles "wam wam" away.  It's a lot to take in...

(In the interest of full disclosure, it not really a piece of leather or parchment, but, a lowly piece of brown construction paper drawn on with pencil.  He really had erased nearly every square inch of the thing, and, when I set the contrast on the scanner, to read and see the pencil, it came out looking like parchment.  I do not ever underestimate children's cleverness, but, I don't think he could have preconceived out awesome this would look.)

Here is the final inside page.  Never in the long, checkered history of "dancing O's" have there ever been two more enthusiastic or professional than the two we have here.  "Clap, clap" indeed...

So that is the story of Nick's birthday card to Marci.

This is the front of Zack's envelope.  It's a new font, he still working out the kinks, and, uh, curlicues.

This is the front of the card, it's cut out, that's a black piece of paper behind it, so you could see what it is... oh, well.

But, when you open it up, it does this:

And says simply, "I Love you Mom Your Super."

An elaborate, elegant, well-designed, modernistic piece.

Pop.  A moment, a moment given, from Zack, to Mom.  One never-ending pink and red on white moment.

A story.  A song for mom, through time, from Nick.  One unforgettable story of a report card turned dancing animals card turned into memory.

There's a little more, do you mind?  Thanks.

When I asked them to make these cards they were playing on the Kindles, looking over one anothers shoulders, plowing through MineCraft and a loud hockey game.  I just asked if they'd like to.  They looked irritated as they reluctantly set down their devices and then, and then, they spent most of the next hour making these.  They had no warning, no notion of an idea and yet, they did this.  For someone else.  Because they know...

This, all this nonsense I write about, these words that pile up all over, are merely a place for me to hide while I shout, "I love you" and "I am proud of you" at the top of my lungs and hope you don't notice me doing it.  Please, understand that.

I wasn't prepared to do this today, but, the story sort of presented itself, so I don't have anything "from the backseat" ready.  I could make something up, but, I promised myself I wouldn't do that.

Instead, yes, instead...  I'll tell you one more thing about making these cards, when the boys first came in, they randomly grabbed the top few pieces on top off the paper pile: the card stock I'd put on top, a red piece, a pink piece, and a brown piece of construction paper.  From that, they improvised these cards, these pieces of themselves, these snapshots of their hearts in the spring of their ninth year.

Thanks for taking a look at these with me, it was fun.  I do this for them, I do this at them, and I try to do this by them, but, I am so glad you come along with me as I do all that, it's comforting.


  1. Creative cards! I'm sure your wife will love them!

  2. That was fantastic to see and thoroughly entertaining to read!
    Love the card. I would be touched to receive one this elaborate from my kids.

  3. Love this. You have such a way of capturing these moments with your words that just warms the heart and tickles the laugh box. (That sounded better in my head).

    You wife is one lucky lady, and so are those kids, who have a dad who thinks just enough to say "we should..."