Sunday, October 18, 2015

Melissa's Elementary School Papers

In my laundry room, nestled among the detergent, fabric softener, ironing board, and the endless pile of soiled clothes, lived three huge plastic tubs.  Inside these tubs were the precious memories created by my sweet little cherub Melissa when she entered the "big girl" world of elementary school.

After first grade, I discovered that three huge tubs were not nearly large enough to host the precious memories of 2nd grade and I purchased more.  Tubs number 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and so on had their permanent resting place in my bedroom, a storage room, my husband Bob's home office, and in the bowels of our gararge.

Notice the use of the past tense in the above sentence. Yes, that's right. They had their permanent resting place throughout nearly every nook and cranny of my house, that is, until last weekend.

You see, now that my cherub is a high school senior and filling out college applications, I decided that I probably didn't need all of the precious memories I saved over the years. I knew that someday I would have to tackle all of those tubs.  But oh, it would be so hard!  How could I get rid of those precious memories? How could I throw away all of the evidence of my baby's hard work from 1st through 5th grade?

It would be an emotional challenge, but I rolled up my shirt sleeves, sat cross legged on the floor, and kept a box of tissues by my side in the event that looking through her old papers became too much for my emotions to handle.

Let's just suffice it to say that I really did need those tissues, but not for reasons you'd expect. The Puffs got plenty of use as dust from the first tub immediately found a new home... in my nose.

As I sneezed my way through math home work and spelling tests and history projects and letters from the teacher, one and only one thought ran through my mind.


To any mother who is about to send their child off to elementary school, I offer these words of wisdom.  If you are thinking of saving every single piece of paper your baby brings home, I caution you, I urge you, I beg you....DON'T DO IT!

Why, you ask? Because 11 years later you'll be sitting cross legged on the floor, staring at dust-filled bins of old papers, thinking to yourself, "Why did I save all of this crap!"

I suppose I had visions of someday sitting together with an adult Melissa, lovingly sharing these precious memories of her childhood.

Yeah.  Not going to happen.

Devoid of the emotional obstacles I thought would stand in my way, I systemically placed all evidence of my baby's hard work from 1st through 5th grade in the recycling bin.

Now before you accuse me of being a heartless mother, I will tell you that some items were spared. Birthday cards, Mother's and Father's Day projects, a cute little story about the day we adopted our cat, and a tale of her visit to a local farm with her Brownie Troop.

All told, I whittled 10 huge tubs down to 2.

Now I'll have room to save every single piece of paper she brings home from college next year!

Melissa's first grade tale about a field trip to Paws Farm with her Brownie Troop!

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