Adam looked at the three little red chairs all in a row. “Look, Mama, that one is different! It’s shaped all funny. Let’s take it away.”
Mother looked at the chair and smiled. “Yes, it does look different, doesn’t it? But that is because it is very old. This chair is special. It belonged to your father when he was a little boy.”
“Oh, that’s funny!” laughed Adam. “Daddy could never sit in that chair! He’s too big!”
“Oh, but he did. Daddy was once a little boy too, just like you are now.”
Adam laughed and laughed.
“Come, sit beside me and I will tell you about it,” said Mother. She sat down on the sofa, hugged Adam up close to her side and opened the big family picture album.
“Do you remember when we went down to Andrew’s school for this picture, Adam?” she asked.
“Yes! That’s me in my Dickie Duck shirt,” said Adam.
“Do you still wear your Dickie Duck shirt?” asked Mother.
“No,” said Adam a little sadly, “it got too little!”
“That’s right,” said Mother. “Look at this picture. Do you remember this one?”
“Oh yes!” said Adam, “you took a picture of me at Christmas with my Pooh Bear!”
“Look at your fuzzy pajamas. Do you still wear them?” Mother pointed to the picture.
“No!” laughed Adam, “that’s silly! I’m too big for them! They are baby pajamas and I’m almost four!”
“That’s right,” said Mother. Then she turned back a few pages and pointed to another picture. “Do you know who this is?”
“Is it me?” asked Adam.
“No,” answered Mother, “that is Andrew when he was your age. And who is this?”
“Oh, that’s me. You told me that was my first baby picture,” said Adam.
“That’s right. See how tiny your hands and feet were! Are you still that small?”
Adam jumped down from the sofa and stretched up as tall as he could. “Of course not! See how big I am?” And he laughed and jumped up beside his Mother again.
Mother laughed too as she turned way back to the front of the album. There, in the middle of the page was a picture of a baby. Its edges were a bit ragged and there was a crease down the middle. Mother pointed to it. “Guess who this is.”
“Is it me?” guessed Adam.
“No.” said Mother.
“Is it Andrew? Or Jenny?”
“No,” said Mother, this is your Father’s baby picture! It was taken many years ago when he was very small. He wore little baby pajamas until he got bigger and he had a favorite shirt just like Dickie Duck when he got a little bigger again. And he outgrew it just like you did. He outgrew a lot of things. And one day he was too big to sit in his little red chair. So his mother – that’s your grandma – put it away. And she took very good care of it so that one day she could give it to us to keep! That’s why this is a very special chair!’
Adam walked over to the little chairs. First he sat in the new ones. Then he sat in the one that was different. He looked very thoughtful. “My daddy was a little boy just like me. And he liked this chair best of all.” Then Adam sat on his own chair again. “Mama, will you save my chair when I get too big to sit in it?”
“Yes, I will!” laughed Mother and she picked him up and hugged just because she loved him.