And I love my kids, obviously.
So it’s a bit of a surprise that I throw out their artwork unapologetically. And more than artwork, I throw out their schoolwork from years past. Sure, I look through it when it comes home with them, but then I trash it. Because I don’t want to find myself on the wrong side of sentimental and flirting with hoarding.
I remember when my kids were younger, in nursery school and beyond, every few weeks, we’d pick up a lot of their artwork. They were bright primary colors paintings- gorgeous swipes, dots, and the eventual emergence of green. Exciting stuff. And yet, it goes straight into the trash. Oh, I save a few from every period, I’m not a complete animal. But I’m also not going to start cataloging the daily minutiae of my children’s education. Sorry. I’m just not that mom.
A few weeks ago, I was going through my son’s third grade papers. They had somehow escaped an earlier purge and as I was looking at the adorable semi-literate spelling, I paused a bit before tossing the bulk of it out. Would I regret it one day? Would I be sitting on my couch one day, touching the faded pencil marks of the “chkn fngs” written in response to “what’s your favorite food?” and reminiscing about the days when my babies were little and learning to write. Would I wish that I’d saved more of their writings to enjoy in my dotage? Would I treasure every scrap of paper they scribbled on?
But for now, I live in a space that simply doesn’t lend itself to years of schoolwork storage. Nor am I the type to photograph my kids’ stuff before sending it down the trash chute.
So I save a few examples of their work for every period, and I let go of the rest.
And I hope that when it’s time, my memories will fill in the gaps.
Photo credit: iStock Photo
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