Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gypsy Mama

I have just completed my third move in a year. I am actually wondering if that is an accurate number because it is possible that I blocked one out. Be that as it may, as I was sifting through all the trinkets that a four year old boy turns up with, I was at a complete loss for what the heck to do with all this stuff. A wide assortment of plastic bugs, a million bottles of bubbles, several hundred rocks of all different shapes, sizes and colors mixed in with dirt, feathers, an ant farm full of dead ants, and pieces to toys that I can't even identify. What is a woman on the move to do? Pile it all into a bag and donate it? Dump it in the landfill? Organize it? Who has time? Life is happening all around us. No way I am going to spend hours figuring out where this stuff belongs in our lives. The 4 year old has long since forgotten about every single one of these objects, he lives his life in the moment, and is fully engaged with fitting the tops of markers on his fingers. At this point I would like to raise a glass to the Veterans truck outside of Target that will accept bags of randomness with a smile. Not only do they risk their lives in service, but they make use of all of the unbelievable clutter that can gather in a 4 year old's room. Cheers!

The question I pose to all of you dear friends is this. What is a mom to do with all of the preschool projects? The plastic bag filled with some strange substance with crepe paper atatched, the paper plate covered in yellow paint and sunflower seeds, the gingerbread man, the hand turkeys,the blue string covered in glitter glue( a personal favorite). You all know what I am talking about. Your house is full of these beautiful artifacts. Am I bad mom because I just toss them into the recycle bin? I looked lovingly at each project, thought about all that it took to construct it, and then slam dunked it into the recycle bin. Do you think that jelly substance is recyclable? This is what I figure...I may go to great lengths to preserve these bits of artistic development. But when I bust them out when this 4 year old is an adult he will only think I am totally nuts. Then what do I do? Give them back to him so he can muse about his great achievements? Hand the box over to his wife so she can think I am nuts? Spend my senior years lovingly recalling the good old days? God, I hope not. I hope I am in France with you guys. No. Call me a bad mom if you want. But I am not keeping anymore superfluous pieces of paper. I am going to spread my wings and rid myself of all of 4 year old baggage!!!!

Please just don't ask me to get rid of anymore of my wardrobe, or shoe collection!



JO said...

I am not even moving and I don;t know what to do with all of the art projects. It breaks my heart a little to throw it out, but it was only her FIRST YEAR of preschool...we still have a hell of a long way to go!

tj said...

I have taken up taking photos of the art projects that my 2 children are bringing home from school. I could no longer stand the pile of tissue boxes foil rolls and cracker boxes sitting on their dressers when i was sure I got rid of them from my kitchen cupboards just last week. Now we can enjoy them whenever we like and I don't have to move them around on my cleaning days.

JO said...


Janet Dwight said...

I recently moved too. My oldest two children - 12 and 14 packed themselves. Their toys have gotten more expensive and smaller. However, all of their toys from the younger years ended up in my 8-year old's room. I dumped everything in boxes and have just now - 6 months later - donated most of it. Little People houses full of random pieces of plastic whatever. I did pack away Brio trains and track, hot wheels, and out favorite books. I thought if he didn't ask for the stuff after 6 months, the only value it had was sentimental (for me).

The artwork I have put in those large, flat wrapping paper Rubbermaid containers. I don't know what I'll do with most of it. The stuff stops coming home after elementary school so one box might do it. Our of sight out of mind for now.

I'm sure 15-20 years from now I'll cry as I look at the drawing of Mommy and Me framed in macaroni.