art, that is. made by my daughter, beginning around fifteen or so months up to now. piles and piles of dried up fire hazardous paint and marker coated sheets.
the other day, i thought to myself, “i’ll just go ahead and clean out the art room,” and set about my task, beginning with going through the stack of old art. i’ll take pictures, said i, of the really “good” stuff, and only keep the most important milestone type stuff and pitch the rest. well, it didn’t take too long of sifting through the mess for me to begin sighing heavily over each and every work of art as though it was van gogh’s finest. my “get rid of” pile dwindled and the “keep” pile grew and grew. eventually, everything that i dumped into the recycle bin, i had to fish back out and carry lovingly back to its peers, where it belonged.
what did i get rid of? not much. perhaps a few unintelligible scribbles with no date on them. everything else, though, was meticulously photoed and handled with tender fingertips.
and this kite, that i think greg actually ended up making in her parent and tot preschool class…i mean, there is no way she put those shapes on there…that had to be greg. i’m sure she sat sulking nearby as he tried to coax her into doing it the way the preschool teacher had designed for it to go. ruth was never one for humoring people much. good intentions be damned.
the heart-wrenching poem and prints made by her two mothers days ago, also in parent/tot preschool. she wouldn’t do it in the class. i had to make the hand prints later on at home. i still can’t read this without tearing up.
and this…it was taped up above our mantle at the time that i went into labor with joel. i remember looking up at it, weathering those first early contractions, thinking, “i should take that with me to the hospital…look at how good she did, coloring in the lines and everything. she tried so hard…” getting all misty-eyed, but forgetting about it as soon as the contractions started coming faster and more furious.
so, what do i do?
i can’t get rid of any of it. not a sheet. rent some storage space? use it to wallpaper our home?
am i a hoarder or just an overly sentimental freak? or is there much of a difference?