Salome Magazine
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LAce Posted Monday, October 13th, 2003
The Refrigerator
Dori Hoffman-Latter

A few weeks ago I went out with my best friend, her married daughter, son-in-law, and their 4-month-old baby. My own sons are in high school, probably years away from adding another level to our family tree. But the dinner got me thinking. When I returned home that evening, I happened to glance at my refrigerator. I was amazed by how much it reveals about who I am and what I hold dear.

There is a poem entitled “The Images of Mother,” and one called “Teach Him Gently, World.” These words of wisdom help me remember what is important in my life. The poem “To My Grown-Up Son” reminds me how precious these years with my two boys are.

There are also photos, of course, including baby pictures of me and my husband. Why are those still up there, I wonder? We put them on the fridge to compare to our sons, who are now in high school.

Then there is the memorabilia my boys produced when they were younger. I have a magnet that says, “For a lifetime supply of hugs, go to Sam.” It has been years since Sam, my older son, made that, but I still take advantage of his promise whenever I can. There are also a number of “ladders” that my younger son created as a play on our family name, Latter. These must be at least 9 years old, but they remain on the side of the refrigerator.

My husband’s sense of humor is also apparent from the decorations on the fridge. There are cartoons from The Far Side and The New Yorker about raising kids and the world of business. I still walk past these yellowed, curled strips of paper and chuckle.

My refrigerator's cluttered surface represents a happy life, a contented life, and a full life. And it is.

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