Mom, Why do you Keep These Things?
By: Laura D. Field – July 8, 2015 – paid freelance writer and blogger
As I go through the house, in my attempts to downsize and rid myself of collectibles and items I enjoy yet no longer feel a need to hang onto, memories come swiftly flowing back of my daughters and the many little crafty items they presented to me. Over the years I have slowly gotten rid of many of the items, but every now and then I come across something they made me that I wasn’t able to let go of previously.
Today I came across the little sand art bottles one of the girls gave me that survived the fall that others had the misfortune of enduring. I remember the time and tedious thought that went into making these, and due to the delicate nature of their artwork easily being damaged, I hid these last two bottles in the corner of a smaller display cabinet. Memories flooded back, making it difficult to decide, do I toss them now? Will the girls ever know? Will the girls really care? yet more importantly “Do I want to ruin what took her so many hours to create?”
It brings about happy memories, yet what makes me smile and laugh, is the memory of our older daughters insisting that I keep every single paper, painting, craft item they ever did, after discovering that I did throw things away after a spell. Despite my efforts to share with them that to hang onto “everything” would be impossible as well as create a fire hazard, I made a concession that I would provide them with a couple of boxes where they could store all their treasures. This worked and their rooms were cleaned.
Later that evening both my husband and I, thrilled that we were able to relocate the load of memories into the attic, had me giggling as I shared with him “When they move out, those are the boxes that are going first.” I remember him sharing with me that they will forget and think we were crazy to keep them, to which we laughed knowing the truth behind his statement.
Years passed and our oldest was moving out into her first apartment, and yes, we presented her with her boxes of treasured memories. And wouldn’t you know, the first thing that she asked in frustration was “MOM!! Why did you keep all this junk??” to which both my husband and I roared into laughter, reminding her of the compromise we made so many years prior. She laughed, not remembering the event, and asked, “Can I throw these things out?” By all means my little wonder, toss them to the wind!
Of course, as she was packing up all her belongings, I reminded her of the pony bead earrings she made me, and promised to wear at her wedding. The fear of my actually wearing them at her wedding was more than she and her sister could bear and demanded that I throw them out. Seriously, they were the ugliest earrings imaginable, yet I wore them for that Mother’s day and throughout the week. Not because they flattered my dress nor was something I would want to wear, but rather because it was something a mom who adores the heart of their children, does for them.
I bet you are wondering….yes, one daughter is married and no, I never did wear those earrings to her wedding. Besides, they would not have gone with the color of my dress. In all transparency, I gave them away in a donation box, which I later saw in their jewelry case. After seeing that, I smiled, and wonder what little girl or boy would be purchasing them for their mom for Mother’s Day.
And yet today, as I am reminded of all the memories of joy our girls have provided, I still continue to find little trinkets of love that they made me from time to time. As they got older, their craft work is something I am unable to give up. I have amazing painted rocks in the garden, small sculpy clay items made with tedious little fingers, and artwork that hangs on our walls.
Why do I keep the memories? Because they remind me of younger years of when I was in the art of molding their little hearts into the beautiful women that they have become. As with everything we take on in life, there is a choice to do the best we can with what we are given, or to be lazy and not care about the outcome. Whether it is a craft project, a child’s life or marriage, I have always believed that if you give more than a 100% of yourself with integrity, you would never be disappointed, even when things do not turn out the way you planned.
Maintain the memories. Even when the treasures are lost the memories themselves will never be forgotten.
Oh…what have I decided on the sand art bottles? I’m giving myself a few more days to think on this one.
Laura – Blogger, paid Freelance writer