For years, I did not understand why my mother insisted on keeping so much stuff from our childhood. Storage boxes filled with Where’s Spot books, Fisher Price toys, BRIO train tracks, Cabbage Patch dolls, medals, uniforms, school work, and more have moved between various attics and storage units for over three decades.
And then I became a mother.
This month my parents downsized, finally, from three storage units to one. In addition to storing goods acquired through 43-years of marriage, they have been the depot to the leave behinds of three grown children. The storage units were, in fact, time capsules of our childhood.
Trophies that once held prized places on bedroom’s shelves, gathered dust in dark corners. Framed family church portraits, YMCA team photographs, and school class pictures lay stacked on shelves wrapped in brown paper. A trunk filled with favourite baby clothes and Halloween costumes showed their yellow age spots.
On the last trip home, I scheduled time to weed through my stored goods. I spent days sifting through school report cards, term papers, arts n’ crafts, thank you cards and sorry notes which my mother kept meticulously filed. Boxes of photographs, yearbooks, and old love letters preserved a naive version of my adult self.
Some of the remnants bore no significance any longer, but others were new found treasures that I wished to share with our daughter. My child riding boots now serve as a doorstop to her nursery. A cowboy portrait I painted in elementary school hangs above her dresser, and my mother’s Elsie milk mug has a prominent position on the nursery’s mantel.
As I begin collecting our daughter’s portraits, finger paintings, and cards I hope she, too, will one day enjoy looking through them as I have with my own. As a mother, you cannot help but take great pride in documenting your child’s developments, discoveries and accomplishments. I consider her file box my personal brag box.
As I finished combing through my last storage box I realised, again, how blessed my brothers and I were to have parents so proud of our successes, supporters of our individual interests, and steadfast in their love of each other, and in us.
Happy (UK) Mother’s Day!
A special thanks to my mother who is my rock, my best friend, and my greatest mentor.
I love you…