Friday, January 4, 2013

More Than a Box of Memories

As part of my effort to clean, organize and get rid of "junk", I decided I needed to tackle the worst part of the house first before I ran out of enthusiasm and energy. What's the worst part? Our basement.

It is downright cold down there these days (mid-40's during the day and no heat down there), so I decided to go through our memory boxes first since I could bring them upstairs where it's much more cozy.

Brielle's Two Memory Boxes
(after going through them
and organizing the contents)
I actually went through my four (yes, FOUR) plastic storage tubs two months ago. What a fun trip down memory lane. I didn't feel like I could responsibly go through Brian's boxes (only two tubs) or Ashley's (a whopping FIVE tubs), so I brought up Brielle's (three tubs).

Let the giggling, "awww's" and a few tears begin...

An overwhelming amount of space was taken up by all of her participation medals and trophies. What is the need to keep those anyway? She certainly doesn't care about them. I took pictures when the events happened and those pictures are displayed in our scrapbook. Out they go.

How many participation medals
and trophies does one little girl need???
There were paper awards and ribbons. Those, I kept (though I'm not sure what the logic is other than space).

There were great pieces of art including art from holidays, handprints from finger painting and her first self-portrait. Giggle, giggle....

Was Brielle every that little???
Then there were baby blankets, rompers and dresses. Awww.... I showed them to Brielle. She giggled and immediately asked how old she was when she wore them. She pinched her nose when I showed her a tiny diaper. Giggle, giggle...

I found things from the hospital including the wrist bands, crib label and birth announcement with her tiny baby footprints Awww... There were other baby things like a bottle and a favorite rattle. I even found the pregnancy test. Why I kept that, I have no idea, but it went back into the box.
These are memories worth keeping, too..
Then there were several sets of leg braces and a leg cast signed by her second grade class when she had Botox injections in her leg. There were even a few hand splints we tried to help her right hand. Sigh...

There were copies of photographs taken of the ultrasounds I had while pregnant with her, too <insert a few tears here>

Going through her boxes made me think:
1. How does a mother decide to keep something or throw it away?
2. How does a mother change her mind about what to keep several years later?
3. How many things did this mother throw out that I would appreciated later?
...and finally...
4. Does a "memory box" of mementos really reflect a person's life?

A simple cleaning/organizing project left me with a lot of sentimental feelings -- some joyful, some a bit melancholy. The items in the box might never mean much to Brielle, but they mean something to her mom.

**(As I write this post, Ashley got inspired to use some of her time home from college and is going through her FIVE boxes - well, at least one of them at the moment. I hear giggles, "awww's...., and few sighs coming from the living room where she's working. Maybe she's appreciating her mom's efforts to save things. Maybe she'll do the same for her kids one day.)

--> What's the strangest thing you've saved of your child's?

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