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Proudly displayed

I’ve had fridge art from three grandchildren.

They’re all priceless works, so some samples have been kept to delight me with pleasant memories during rainy-day treasure hunts.

Sometimes there are ancient discoveries — works done by their mom some 30 years ago. Like the plastic butter dish used to mount a drawing of her family. Three people sporting age-labeled T-shirts. Herself with a six. Me, at 27, red hair still intact! Her dad, with a huge 43. He did not appreciate her momentary dyslexia!

I, on the other hand, was tickled by this production. I became her stepmom just months earlier. She lived with us, but it was still a proud surprise to be included in her family portrait.

Then there’s her seashell decorated with paper and marker saying, “I’m sorry. I will never forget you.”

I no longer recall what transgression preceded this declaration. It may have come after a spousal argument that left her suspecting I would leave. If so, it was certainly a more heartwarming sentiment than her reaction on another such occasion when she tearfully whimpered, “Are you going to take your stereo?”

Her works of art are mostly buried in boxes, but the queen of my kid art mementos sits in a kitchen cupboard. Yes, it’s housed in the catch-all cupboard, but it’s on the front of the top shelf where I can see it.

My daughter made it when she was seven. A detergent bottle cap with a styrofoam ball. Plastic fork, handle broken and inserted to stick out just enough to hold a recipe card. Pink carnation to cover the ball, pink ribbon trimming the bottle cap, and voila! The absolute best recipe holder ever!

And indeed it is. Because it was my first Mother’s Day gift ever! It’s not packed away. It’s there where I can glance at it occasionally, a reminder of a little girl who stole my heart and made my life complete. One who every now and then, with a butter dish family portrait or a detergent cap recipe holder, made me feel loved — something that showed me I had made it! I was really accepted! I was in!

And isn’t that what kid art always is? Kids bestow their gifts upon us to show their love and affection. They don’t fake it. Every piece of kid art ever handed to us is a seal of approval, a medal of honour. Don’t take it lightly! If you get kid art, you know that in the eyes of that child, you are special and deserve the best. Display that award proudly.

Come to think of it, I think a certain recipe holder needs a better spot.

— Beth Fryer

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