Wednesday, March 27, 2013


When I moved back to my homeland and got a house of my own, my mother started showing up with Rubbermaid containers of my old stuff.  Containers and containers of it.  My letter sweater from high school.  Old letters from a pen pal that I started corresponding with in the fifth grade.  Old sorority t-shirts and composite pictures.  Dried flowers from boyfriends long gone.  Programs from junior high volleyball games.  Trophies from when I twirled baton(!!!) in early elementary school.  The list goes on and on.  My mother kept most of the things thinking that I would want them.  I went through them and laughed and smiled as memories flooded over me.  Then, I left those containers in a corner of an unused bedroom and forgot about them.

Part of me wants to toss all of it.  I know my mom kept all of the things that really mean something to her -- my poems from third grade, the cards I have sent her over the years, the paper that documents first time I wrote my name by myself.  I get why she saved all of it.  I am a saver.  Not a hoarder.  I am a sentimentalist.  I love looking at those sorority composite pictures and remembering everyone.  I have a happy memory of nearly every single person on that page.  However, I often wonder what those things would mean to anyone else besides me?  I mean, if I leave this Earth tomorrow, Superman is not going to want my old Junior Miss newspaper clippings.  Superboy will probably never care that I saved a ritual book from when I traveled as a consultant for my sorority.  Neither of them will pore over the stats books from when I broke volleyball records in high school.  Still, most of the things in those boxes will probably be saved for "someday" so that I can look through them again and run my fingers over the faces in those pictures, the engraving on the trophies, and the fuzz on the sweater and smile.

Saving Superboy's things is another thing entirely.  I am such a sap and I want to save everything.  He scribbled on a menu at a Mexican restaurant back in August and I had to physically restrain myself from tearing that menu off of the table when we left.  It is ridiculous, I know.  He loves art and painting and I have so many things that he has "drawn" or finger-painted and I just cannot make myself get rid of them.  Superman jokes that we will need a second house to store all of this "stuff" but he is almost more of a sap than I am about it.  I love seeing the hand prints we helped Superboy make during his first year of life and it makes me smile every time I walk past them in the hallway.  Those tiny little newborn prints nearly kill me.

Of all the things that I have, though, from my childhood, my most prize possessions are probably pictures.  I have Bear, sure, and a quilt my mother made for me when I was a wee little thing.  I love those things, but pictures hold a special place in my heart.  There is a picture of my dad and I when I was just born.  A picture of my mom when she was pregnant with my brother.  A picture of our whole family hamming it up for the camera at my aunt's wedding.  Pictures of my grandparents when their hair was not yet gray and they were traveling the world.  The pictures tell a story -- my story -- and I treasure them more than anything else.

1 comment:

super jane said...

Oh YES! Pictures! I have a bazillion of them, all organized in albums, that I treasure. Stuff is stuff. But pictures are a whole 'nuther ballgame!