Do you see that little guy in the corner? He’s the one with curious eyes and cinnamon smudges on his face. He has been there since 1985! I cleaned out my little spice cabinet yesterday and, once again, I dusted him off and put him back in his corner. I’ll take him out again around Christmas – one morning when it’s cold and it’s Saturday and time for hot chocolate and cinnamon toast. I don’t really know why I hang on to such a peculiar inanimate object – something from Winn Dixie that I bought when my oldest boys were about 3 or 4. Anyway, there he was again, sitting there, waiting and causing me to reel backwards into what I remember to be such a wonderful time – a time of youth, both mine and my children’s, a time when I had my parents there to cushion the blows and filter the toxins of my life, a time when tomorrow was stretched out into infinity, it seemed. Hmmmm, now, I find myself at the helm, so to speak. Now, I am the softener of some of the blows and the filter that tries to keep my children safe – it can be a difficult transition, and it’s true, it can be lonely at the top, sitting there trying to look ahead, trying to figure out what’s best when there is nothing tangible to draw from or notion to lead – just you … Now you know why “he” sits there in my spice cabinet with his quirky smile and his twist top head.