Monday, 14 May 2012

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

One afternoon in the mid 1990's teenage me went into my mother's top dresser drawer (her sewing drawer) to get some supplies to replace a missing button.  I grabbed an appropriate sized needle from her tomato shaped pin cushion, pulled out a pair of scissors and scoured the drawer for an appropriate sized button.  I don't know if my mother still does this, but she used to store spare buttons in old pill bottles.  I dumped out the contents of two bottles onto her bed, unable to find an appropriate match, and I went back to the drawer and in the very back, behind some make up remover I found an additional 3 pill bottles.  Jackpot!

Only, not really.  I pulled out the bottles to find out that they were each clearly marked and contained first teeth for myself and my two siblings.  Being 15, and not very sentimental at the time I felt weirded out, returned the teeth to the back corner of the drawer not saying a word and secretly suspected  my mom of being some sort of freaky bone collector.*  Nowadays some people save teeth in hope of providing stem cells to treat diseases like leukemia and other blood disorders.  

As an adult I find many of the things that my mother has saved over the years amazing, hilarious and surprising.  Our crappy attempts at crafts still clutter up the shelves of my childhood home.  When my sister had children we were shocked to discover that many of the toys that my mother had donated to charity miraculously reappeared for her grandchildren to play with after years of hiding in the attic.

Since the minions came into existence there are many things I have recorded, saved and others that I've thought about, but decided against putting in the time capsule.  I'm trying to ride the fine balance between caring mom who wants to preserve her offspring's childhood and crazy hoarder with way too many weird items.

This note was sent to my mother from my kindergarten teacher.   This seemingly insignificant note home is paramount to understanding me the child and the person that I am today.  28 years later I continue to experience intense rage and freak out over hosiery malfunctions.  If you ever see me grappling with a pair of leotards stand back!

Items that I Didn't Save
  • Pregnancy tests - I had mixed feelings about storing dried urine, in retrospect I probably should have just taken a digital photo to put in the baby books
  • Umbilical cords when they fell off**
  • Welcome baby cards.  Many were addressed to both babies and I didn't know how to divide them up, so I kept them on display for a few weeks and then recycled
  • Some breast milk - I wish I had frozen some, so I could feed it to the minions when they were ill or could use it on their cuts and scrapes, especially now that Molly is crawling
Items that I Have Saved/Will Be Saving & Recording
  • Hospital bracelets 
  • Ultrasound photos
  • Medical Immunization records (cause that just makes sense)
  • Baby Books/ Calendar of firsts with dates - using my baby book as a guideline for teething symptoms, first time crawling etc. has been a godsend and puts a family perspective on What to Expect in the First Year
  • Locket of hair from first hair-cut
  • Report cards and notes from school
  • School pictures
  • First shoes, my mom gave me my first shoes as a baby shower gift
  • A million photos, I'm trying to slowly accumulate photos of the minions with relatives and friends for their baby books and beyond
  • The "best" cards they make, art projects or crafts
  • Badges, patches, trophies and awards
  • Audio recordings of their voices, laughs and coos during various ages
  • Favorite childhood toy(s)
  • A birthday card from Chris and I for each birthday with personalized messages
  • Finger prints of both children
  • Letters to Santa

I am wondering if there is anything else that I'm going to kick myself for not saving. Or when is the right time or way to pass these items onto the kids at a time when they'll appreciate them and not be embarrassed by them, because I'd hate to save these things to only have them destroyed in a fit of teenage insensitivity or embarrassment.

I'm still on the fence about the teeth, maybe I'll save them and have them inserted into a pair of matching "teeth maracas".***  

* I think in my cynical teenage way I suspected something like the tooth fairy episode of The Family Guy - 
**I asked Chris if he wanted to save these and he gave me a look like I'd asked about saving their first dirty diapers.
***In the 1980s people used to bronze baby shoes all the time, this is the evolution of that.

No comments:

Post a Comment