Today I stumbled across a packet of papers, fully knowing I’d be going to grandma’s tomorrow. I had last visited on the fall of last year and, in case you didn’t notice, it’s the beginning of spring now.

My cousins are two dear little kids (now big kids I’m assuming) whom I’ve learned to love like my brother and sister. They love to both visit their grandma’s house and play games with me. We all call each other by name, unless we are so distracted by something or so happy we blurt out “Brother” or “Sister”.

Thinking about it makes my heart well with love for these kids, as I’ve spent countless days babysitting them in my childhood and continue to into the days of my teens. I love them to bits and wouldn’t want to be without them. So, I’d made them a scrapbook (just a big pile of about 13 papers, and that’s including a Hary Potter coloring book page my biology teacher gave to me) last year in the fall.

In the beginning, it reads “To my dear cousins, without whom none of this would be possible” with a blue heart and my name just below it. The entire “book”, made out of computer paper, marker, and crayon is filled with games and, most importantly, love.

Page 1 has a bear with a party hat, while page 2 has a list of stuffed Build-A-Bear animals one could use as a buddy for the day. I was planning on a tea party day.

Page 3 is a menu, with a wide variety of snacks. It ranges from purple milk and “bear meat” and cheese to a special milkshake called “The Race Horse”, which is possibly one of the most disgustingly sugar filled drink known to man kind. It churns my stomach thinking of that much sugar!

Page 4 is just a map or “blue prints” of a town we’d build (called Hazelnut Village). Currently, the only places recorded are a town hall, a lake with dock, a postal office and its mailbox, and a fountain surrounded by shrubs, trees, and benches.

Page 5 is a game with a sloppily drawn blue husky, asking where his tail is, while page 6 just has two cut out cats by the name of Missy Mew and Misty Mew.

Page 6, my personal favorite, is a drawing of three horses: Cutie, Lucky, and Speedy. Each on their own race course, one person bets on q horse to win. Nobody, besides me, knows exactly who will win, so it’s like a shot in the dark. Each child picks a horse and, inevitably, flips the paper over to see the results. (Spoiler: Cutie wins)

Pages 7-9 are cutouts of a Library with an advertisement of the book fair and scheduled hours of the opening and closing of the library posted on the door, Togo’s Groceries which also has its hours posted, a buy 3 get one free candy poster, and a “Missing: $500 Reward” sign advertising a missing potato by the name of “Spud”, and the post office with a gleeful “Welcome, friends! <3” posted above its entrance.

The final 2 pages are a Harry Potter coloring page, which is completed with Harry’s messenger owl landing, and scripture. The page containing scripture has John 3:16 nicely penned at the top of the page in purple, while Matthew 5:14-16 proudly takes up the entire backside, making the words “you” and “your” be in purple, green, and blue, each color representing one of us.

I show my mom, and both of us take a break from looking at my wardrobe and comparing it to that of a cartoon character I admire and admire the pile of papers. My mom knows I dream of someday writing a children’s book and publishing it, and that I do so intend to do. But, to my dismay, momma shocked me. She turns to me solemnly, stacks the papers neatly by fixing them against her knee, then hands them to me, saying, “Here’s your first children’s book.”

Thank you, momma, for being the best mother I could’ve ever asked for, and thank you cousins Mikey and Maddison for being the great little brothers and sisters I got to look after while I was an only child, though I am not now.