Last week was my birthday, but with work and volunteering I didn't get a chance to see my brother and nephews until this past weekend. Among my gifts were two beautiful outfits, but my favorite gift by far, was this coupon poster created especially for me by my two knuckleheads.
As you'll note, the variety of coupons presented astounds (not all are pictured above), from a coupon good for one back rub, to one good for a joke, to one coupon good for 2 tickets to my local gun show (the biceps kind, not the .38 caliber kind), to last but not least, a coupon good towards being put in a cradle (the body contorting wrestling move, not the infants bed). They've practiced this particular move on me already, and not to brag but, I'm still surprisingly flexible for my advanced age of 44. Oh, and in case you're wondering about the "R.I.A. (ripped in abs)", it is both the moniker they gave me as little boys when Ria was the closest they could get to Maria and the name they address me by to this day, and also a not so subtle but loving jab at the fact that I do not have ripped abs. The "do not break 'til Easter" warning next to the chocolate bar is due to the fact that I gave up chocolate for Lent.
This wonderfully creative and beautiful gift, yes beautiful, to me, because after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder, will be placed with all the other little treasures I've collected over the years from my knuckleheads. Everything from a bookmark created and decorated by their little hands and received from each of them when I was their "special friend's breakfast" guest in elementary school. Quite an honor, and one I never took lightly. To a small flower picked just for me on a soccer field by my oldest nephew. My treasures, each lovingly stored with a special memory wrapped around it, like the blueness of the sky on the day I got that flower, or the buzz of conversation in the crowded cafeteria as we sat side-by-side at a too small school table ready to enjoy our breakfast.
As my boys grow older and have less time for their old aunt, I know the movie outings and the inside jokes shared by just the three of us will diminish, but I know I'll always have their love and thankfully always have my treasures. I'm hoping I can still add a treasure or two to my collection before their first girlfriends show up on the horizon, because once those floozies make an appearance, I know I'm a goner.