The last day of school means summer fun is on its way…right?! NO. It means I have to open my kids disgusting, smelly backpacks (because it’s the end of the year and I haven’t cleaned them out AT ALL, ‘is this a cheese stick?!’) and pull out the Mount Everest sized stack of papers that they’ve worked on ALL YEAR. LIKE. EVERY. SINGLE. THING. 😳 and then times that by three (because I’m a smart mom who has multiple children)
What is in this pile, you ask? Pictures of potatoes. About 420 self portraits. Stories about dolphins because apparently they’re experts on that subject. Lucca’s writing prompt about how he watches tv alllll weekend and then played ‘joystick’ (the teacher must think I’m awesome). Oh, mugshots throughout the year (why do they have that look of fear on their faces…and how do I get it?). Some teacher’s artwork (I’m so glad I’m going to remember Mrs. XYZ’s cutout of an umbrella because I’m pretty damn sure that Georgia did not make this. She can barely draw a potato aka circle).
So now, what do I do with all of these masterpieces? Please tell me you don’t save every single one. There is not enough room in my house, never mind a separate storage unit for all this shit, so I pick and choose. If it makes me laugh, I keep it. A milestone…first family portrait, first short story, I keep it. Report cards, I usually keep. Something that looks like it took them two weeks to make, I keep it. That would be cruel to throw away hard work. Even I would feel bad.
Everything else gets put into a separate “memory box” aka the garbage pail. But not just on top. I have to dig deep and hide it because you know they’ll look. And then I have to come up with some ridiculous lie about how it got there. “Oh! How did that get there?! It must have gotten knocked in by the dog. I was looking everywhere for this!” and I take it out and put it in the garage garbage when they’re not looking again.
And how do I know that they won’t miss all this shit? Because my mom was one of those people who saved EVERYTHING. Every worksheet, teacher note, project…my fucking teeth! Try finding those in your memory box as an adult. Creepy. Sure, it’s fun to look back at a picture and the occasional note or favorite outfit, but I didn’t need to see that in third grade I was adding 22+65 and got the wrong answer. Go through it all with them now, let them be excited about it and explain every detail (and if they’re anything like mine, you’ll be there for hours), and then do whatever with it and don’t feel guilty that you didn’t save everything.
*I’m judging all of his based on last year’s shit. This year’s is still sitting on my desk