The family was flippin’ through old photographs after dinner on Easter Sunday when we came across a bunch of fall-on-the-floor-funny pictures of our youngest child. I swear the lad was born with a mischievous twinkle in both eyeballs. Photographs of our girls just don’t seem to invoke such intense laughter. I guess since Ricky couldn’t be with us during the Easter holiday – his college chopped the number of days off to a mere weekend – we went for the next best thing. “My favorite is the one where my friend and I dressed Ricky up like a girl,” Katie giggled. Not sure how the girls got the 3 year-old into the blood-red-with-black-spots poofy dress and wide-brimmed straw hat, but I had to admit he did look cute … and a wee bit tortured. My guess is there was probably bribery involved. Oh, and did I mention the dark blue eye shadow clear up to his eyebrows and the shimmering lip gloss? It was such a nice touch, there was little doubt the scene certainly deserved immortalization on nothing but the best Kodak paper. Katie was also quick to cast her vote for the shots with Ricky and the water hose. I remember hubby had filled up his red wheel barrow and let the little tyke climb in. Actually, there is a series of photographs. The first has hubby holding the running water hose well above Ricky’s head. That one is not the funny one. The next has the little guy sitting in the wheel barrow holding the hose above his own head and waving it around like a sprinkler. Nope, that one is not the funny one either. Hold your breath … it’s coming. Yep, it is an action shot of Ricky’s mom sprinting away from her son squirting the hose in her direction. Yeah, and isn’t it interesting how photographs assist your memory bank with what life was like when your children were little kidlets? There is a picture of our three little darlings sitting together on the couch in their church clothes. The girls are all dolled up in their large-collared pastel dresses and white ankle socks. That musta been one of those rare times when everyone was ready way early for church. Ricky is sitting with his legs tucked underneath him right between his sisters. His hair is all combed neatly with a very precise side part. Geez, I’d forgotten how his hair never looked like that except after an official haircut from Steve, the barber, or when his dad worked his magic on the multitude of unruly cowlicks seconds before exiting the door for church. I know … not particularly funny … just thought I’d throw that one in. One of hubby’s votes went for the photo where the lad is destroying his big sister’s Fisher-Price record player, without her permission of course. From a very early age, Ricky loved to take things apart with a screwdriver. Small kitchen appliances were his specialty. It is probably why the record player proved to be a bit of a challenge. Not for certain how they are now, but back then the Fisher-Price company was pretty darn good at kid-proofing their toys. It seems when the screwdriver failed to get Ricky into the player’s internals, he borrowed one of his dad’s claw hammers from the garage. I was the one that caught Ricky in his closet with the door closed destroying the record player. But he was so far into the destruction mode, I just moved him to the back patio and let him finish. “Do you know whatever happened to Ricky’s sword?” Hubby asked when he came across another photograph with his son in turtle garb. Katie and I both shrugged. Hubby was referring to the wooden sword he had crafted to go along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Halloween costume. Ricky’s favorite turtle was “Raphael” which his dad wrote on one side of the “blade.” The picture was taken right before trick-or-treatin’. Moments later, Ricky took a nasty spill in his costume after scoring candy at the first house. The boy was walkin’ down the sidewalk peering into his candy pumpkin not looking where he was goin’. That step at the curb turned into a bloody lip, but only temporarily put a dent in our trick-or-treatin’ that night. The boo-boo added to the tough ninja persona Ricky was obviously goin’ for that night. Photographs … fun to look at … but not as wonderful as the real thing. We really missed the guy this Easter. Dixie Frantz is a long-time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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