The kitchen is the heart of the home and the fridge is the quietly thrumming heart of the kitchen.
We are not a family who displays portraits of ourselves in each room, smiling in uncomfortable sweaters with animals and for a split second, being still. We know what we look like.
But on the door of our fridge is a small collection of photographs of my two sons, during mostly their childhood. Each photo is a small tableau of a part of their lives and mine.
One has them at a beach in Hawaii, early teens, with the classic shot of older brother buried in the sand, just his head showing, and younger brother laughing wildly with his foot on his brother's head.
Another has them in a desperado pose, with real guns, staring dangerously at the camera but wearing bright yellow ear plugs.
Then there is one of them, when they were small children, in a pirogue that I used to own. It's taken from behind, over their shoulders, showing the requisite bright orange PFDs, their dripping paddles lifted, about to help propel us past the old Seaholm Power Plant on Lady Bird Lake.
My favorite, of course, has me in it with them. My hair is dark red, and my face is young and confident. The boys are five and six years old, and I have one on each hip in a strong, fatherly grip. We are at the Rio Grande Gorge above Taos, New Mexico, and the land falls away behind us with blue mountains in the distance. Seconds after my wife took the photo, a huge wind came swirling up the gorge and I had to squat and hold them close so we wouldn't be blown over the edge to the river below.
And that's what I taught my sons—walk close to the edge because the view is invigorating, but always be ready to squat!