Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Mother's Archaeological Dig

On Tuesday we talked about those wonderful paper dolls. None of mine survived my childhood. I do have my white leather baby shoes and a baby dress my mom saved. Oh, and also a baby book with all the cards my mom received at her baby shower.

In my own motherly past I was a ridiculously serious pack rat. At one point I realized that I had not thrown away a single piece of paper my kids brought home from school. I literally had boxes and boxes of this stuff. At some point I realized it had to go. This was probably when they were in high school. I'm a slow learner.

I kept so much stuff, thinking perhaps that I could somehow capture their childhood by holding on to their things. Cleaning out a closet the other day I found some of my daughters stuffed toys. She's told me that she no longer wants to keep them but I could not part with her Glo-Worm. Did you children have one? It's a doll shaped like a worm (sounds strange but it's cute) and when the child squeezes it, the worm lights up with a soft glow. It was one thing that helped my daughter to go sleep at night. If she felt scared she simply squeezed her Glo-Worm.

Along the way I've pitched other things including the little silver container that was meant to hold their baby teeth. One day I crossed the line from sentimentality to realizing that for me a container of baby teeth was just downright creepy. Out they went.

In an effort to streamline my life other items were disposed of and those that I saved were neatly tucked inside labeled plastic containers.

Here's one.

It contains their diplomas and school awards. Some of the Farmer's awards are in there too.

This one contains the few clothing outfits that I couldn't bear to part with.

My daughter's christening gown (which I made) is hanging in another closet. But here's the little blue and white Eton suit that I made for my son's christening. (They were christened together on the same day).

I loved this sweater. My son looked so cute in it.

Underneath the sweater is the black and red outfit my daughter wore in this picture.


Here's some of their U.S. Space Camp gear. They both attended but different years.

This picture shows my son getting ready to leave on his first day of school.

I remember how cute he looked in the new overalls. He was so excited when the bus pulled up the street, he ran across the front yard, tripped and fell, staining the right knee with a big grass stain. "Oh no", I thought. "The teachers are going to think I'm a terrible mother sending my child to school with grass stained clothing!"

These days I can hardly remember anything. How do I remember it was the right knee? Don't ask. Here they are 24 years later.

Safely tucked in a plastic container with a slight stain visible on the right knee.

Have you saved your kids stuff?


Becky K. said...

I do tend to save things. Most famously causing some tension in our household are all of our portfolios. One per year for each of the three children since they were in Elementary School. They are large and they have their own shelves in our laundry room.

I love seeing how they have progressed over the years since, as a homeschool Mom, it has been my "life" for all of these years.

My husband would love to use those shelves for something else, likely electronics of some sort. lol

Becky K.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

How I remember Glo-worm, fondly. Wish I still had my son's. Yes, I'm a packrat and am envious of your organization. C

Snappy Finger said...

A few things... but it was just too much paper to keep it all. I think at this point I have her christening outfit, a mother's day book she made for me, one construction paper flower and a couple of report cards. Now I collect my grandchildren's refrigerator art and since it's never ending I only post the ones that are the best on the fridge. Makes me think of them every morning as I pour creamer into my coffee from the fridge. *smiles*


Jenni said...

When we had our garage sale a few weeks ago, I found things my girls had pulled out of their keepsake boxes to sell. Among them Na's baby blanket and the doll I made for her 1st birthday from preprinted fabric (Daisy Kingdom?). I made them put those things back. My girls are so good at eliminating clutter, but I know that someday they will want to have things to show or pass down to their children that belonged to them when they were little. I know because I have so few things from my childhood.

One item I did have is a blue crocheted stuffed alligator. My great grandmother made it for my uncle when he was little and it has been through all my mom's siblings, many of my cousins, myself and my brother, and all of my children. Mom has the alligator back with her now to be restuffed for my brother's baby boy.

We do have Danny's leather moccasins from when he was a baby and the Tonka backhoe that his grandparents bought him and maybe a few other things.

One of the things I really wish I still had is a book my mom wrote and illustrated for me when I was little. It told the (true) story of me trying to choose a paint color for my bedroom when I was about 5 and how my mom and dad finally just painted a rainbow on the walls.

Volunteer opportunities said...

Awww... that is so sweet. Keeping things for remembrance. Have a nice day and God bless!

Kitty said...

Yes, I have to admit I have a couple of file folders packed with drawings, school papers, etc. that I saved (from the trash sometimes)for my kids. I also have a plastic tub with some of their special baby clothes, some I smocked and sewed. As for toys--I think we have way too many still packed in boxes in the attic. That's a project to go through and scale down when the weather cools down. It's HOT up there!

I'm sentimental and it's hard to get rid of things sometimes. Also, the fact that my parents never had anything from their childhood made me want to save some things I had. Not much, though, as we always gave our clothing and toys to cousins or someone else in need. My husband had a few things from his parents and his childhood that his mother had saved.

But, there were always a couple of items that we wished we hadn't gotten rid of. Bravo for Jenni for rescuing items her daughters were going to put in their garage sale!

It's ironic that I want to keep so many sentimental items but at the same time feel like all these "things" are becoming burdensome. It's that feeling (from a previous posting) of wanting to clean out and get rid of "stuff". You've got me going again this morning, Suzanne! I'll shut up now...

chocolatechic said...


I have saved a few of their outfits and I have saved many of the notes that they have written me over the years.

bv said...

our kids grew up in a house with a full basement, full attic, walk in cloests...can you see the picture? we NEVER tossed anything! when we moved they were called home to clean out with us. all they did was eat pizza, drink a few beers and walk down memory lane-lots of laughing and fun. i saved what i thought they would want and sure enough they did wanted it. now i am all teary about what those kids. i will try to drag myself thru the day. thanks alot....

marbea said...


I have my baby book and 1st teddy bear from my childhood. And just about everything from my daughter's! Every single art project. One of these days I am going to make a quilt from all her "activity" and travel tee shirts. She is actually starting to ask about it now, so I must get my act in gear.

hmmm, maybe this is why she has an anthropology/archaeology major (we're off to the Getty Villa Museum to see the Roman/Greek exhibits today)

Liz in PA said...

My goodness YES! I, too, had to get serious and pitch "Saved Stuff"!
I do have a storage box with some of my daughter and son's special outfits!
In my cedar chest I have stored about 5 of my daughter's favorite dolls and my son's stuffed Kitty!
.....The Kitty went EVERYWHERE with him! He actually wore it out after many washings, as it was made of a soft hand towel and stuffed w/foam. So I sewed him a new one!


Anonymous said...

Could he undo the overall buckles himself to use the restroom? This is a big problem for teachers that most parents do not think about. Yes, he did look adorable.

lifeinredshoes said...

I wish I had saved the glo-worm, #1 loved that thing. Have you seen the ones? Not right.
Baby teeth, I met a woman with 4 children and she had their baby teeth made into a necklace! When she showed me, I threw up in my mouth.
You have saved the important things, the memories.

P.S. I'm doing laundry.

LydaBabes Going Ons!!!! said...

you put me to shame....your so organized.....I had good intentions but when the way side. I do have a few pieces of clothing and some of the records. Now I feel bad for my kids, but I have tons of not all bad. I guess life just got in the way ......hahah...Your kids will thank you one of these days.....Good for you......

Vee said...

Some things...precious few. Enough to give my daughter-in-law a headache as I handed it all off to her when the first grand was born. I have yet to see that child wear his grandfather's little plaid coat with the leather shoulders and elbows. And my son has placed a ban on anything Osk-Kosh for his sons. Hrummpph. I never!

Vee said...

...or Osh-Kosh either.

Rue said...

My kids are going to curse me one day because I have everything they ever did in grade school and all their baby clothes LOL I can't help it. My mom hardly saved anything and it made me mad, so I went opposite ;)