Chapter 5

Daniel wasn't really tired, he'd just wanted to peek in on Guthrie when he reached the top of the stairs. He wasn't sure why, but he had a feeling that he needed to check on him. When he opened the door, he was a bit surprised to see the lights of the bedroom on. He looked across the room and saw Guthrie sitting in the middle of the big bed that once was belonged to his parents, looking at an old photo album. Daniel noticed the boy had tears in his eyes. He crept over to the bed and sat down gently, pulling Guthrie into his side and looking over the boy's shoulders at the pictures the album held.

"She kind of looks like you, huh Daniel?" Guthrie stated, pointing to a picture of their mom, who was holding a four year old Daniel and two year old Evan.

"Yeah, I guess." Daniel answered. "But look at her eyes Guth. If you look really close, she really has eyes like yours."

"Oh yeah, I never noticed that before." Guthrie smiled approvingly. "So, what was happening in this picture Daniel?"

"Umm," Daniel thought hard, trying to remember it himself. "Oh, it was Ford's first birthday. He had just tore up his cake. Dad had taken him to the sink to clean him up and Evan had gotten his hands in the cake and wiped icing in my hair. See the icing all over his hands and there, in my hair?" Daniel pointed out. "Mom grabbed us up and one of the older guys, either Brian or Adam snapped the picture. I remember them laughing cause I was mad about having that mess in my hair. Hey, I can't believe I can remember that far back." Daniel said, smiling as he remembered.

"Did I tear up my first birthday cake, Daniel?" Guthrie asked, Daniel figured he was feeling a little left out.

"You sure did. Man you demolished the thing." Daniel offered, laughing. "There's pictures of it in here somewhere. He flipped through the pages until he got to the last couple of pages in the album. "There, see? You had a chocolate cake. Eww, what a mess!" Daniel laughed.

Guthrie stared at the picture. He wanted so badly to remember something...anything. He just couldn't. "It looks like mom was laughing hard. Do you remember that Daniel?" Guthrie asked, his voice hushed in wonderment.

"Yeah, I remember. Everytime Dad tried to take a picture, you would throw cake at the camera. You had cake all over the dining room. The table, the floor, all of us..." Daniel laughed out loud, remembering the day fondly.

Guthrie stared at the picture of his mom, holding him and laughing. It made him smile to see her being so sweet with him. He almost felt connected to her. "Daniel, did she ever give me a special name or make up a special song for me or do anything that was just special to me?" Guthrie asked.

Daniel thought for a long while on that question. Memories swirled through his head. All sorts of memories came to his mind about their mother. Then, he remembered something that made him smile. "Wait, Guthrie. I'm gonna go get something I want you to see. I'll be back in a few minutes. Daniel grabbed a flashlight off Adam's dresser then ran down the hall and opened the attic door, slid out the ladder and quietly climbed up. He searched for what seemed like an eternity until he found what he was looking for among his mom's things. He retrieved the item quickly and hurried back down the ladder. Putting the ladder back up and closing the attic door, he hurried back to his parents old bedroom and found Guthrie sitting with the photo album, waiting for him to return.

"What is it Daniel?" Guthrie asked.

Daniel finally revealed what he had hidden behind his back. It was a pair of women's cowboy ones. "These were mom's favorite pair of boots. They were your favorites too!" Daniel replied.

"What?" Guthrie asked.

"Everytime mom would put you down, you would run off into this room and climb around in the closet until you found these boots, then you'd step into them and try to stomp around in them. They were longer than your legs were at the time. When you'd get them on, they would touch your diaper." Daniel told him, his eyes dancing.

"You're lying Daniel!" Guthrie protested.

"No I'm not...flip that album over to the last page and see for yourself." Daniel told Guthrie.

Guthrie did as he was told and there it was. A picture of him as a small toddler, with nothing on but a diaper and those boots...His moms' boots. The same ones Daniel was showing him now.

"See? Told ya...She couldn't keep you out of them, no matter where she would put them away, you'd find them. Even if she put them on a high shelf, you'd figure out a way to climb up and get them. Dad got a little worried about your infatuation with pink boots, let me tell ya!" Daniel said laughing.

"I wonder why I liked them so much, Daniel?" Guthrie asked.

"I think it was 'cause she liked them so much." Daniel answered. "It's kinda like me. Even with all the guitars we have in this house, I like to play the one that belonged to mom and dad. It was their favorite, so it's my favorite. You know?" Daniel offered.

"Oh, I guess that makes sense." Guthrie replied. "I wonder if Adam would mind if I hold onto these?"

"I'll make sure he doesn't mind Guth. You keep them. I know she would want you to have them. The rest of us have a keepsake of you do too." Daniel replied. "Now, you need to get back to sleep before Adam catches us both!"

Daniel put the photo album away and covered Guthrie up in the big bed. He let him keep the boots though. Guthrie rolled over onto his side and laid the boots next to him, one hand still holding on to them gently. Daniel smiled as he switched off the light and returned to his own room. That night, Daniel dreamed of his mom. It wasn't the usual bad dreams of which he'd grown accustomed, it was all sorts of dreams about when he was a child. Birthdays, Christmas mornings, Easter Sundays. All the special occasions he'd spent with both parents. Daniel could only hope that he'd managed to give little Guthrie some good memories to dream of too.

the end...