I'm not a "keeper." I don't treasure every little scrap of paper or stash away first shoes. I don't have boxes of ticket stubs or notes from high school. I'm terrible at baby books and I don't write down every thing my kids say.
I've just never found it necessary. I do love photos, but I feel like my memories are enough. I am afraid I'll forget, miss something. But it's not easy to keep up with it all, and I don't have a storage room I can dedicate to childhood artwork.
However, since Ainsley started school I've had trouble throwing things away. Every night we look through her backpack and she never wants to get rid of anything, but I have to. I already have an entire file box full of her stuff just from this year...and it's not over yet. So after she goes to bed, I go through it again and decide what to keep and what to toss. And it's always hard.
In the past 8 months I have watched her learn to read and write. I have watched her learn to tell time and add and subtract. I have watched her make best friends. I have watched her little heart triple in size. All of it I've seen on these scraps of paper. Her morning work. Her art projects. Her math lessons.
Last night, her bag was mostly empty. Just a few things in it that I had her tell me about. She went to bed and all of it was going in the trash pile.
Then I flipped over her morning work and found this...
She almost always has a picture on the back of her morning work. Her pictures started as floating heads and have become this. Trees, with full bodied people, with curly hair, under a sun...and ants.
The ants got me. So I kept it. Ants!
The kids are obsessed with ants these days. I guess it started one morning while I was at work and Clif was getting them ready. My normally bug-phobic children found an ant in the bathroom and loved it. Decided it was their pet. We got home that night, and running across our walkway were a gazillion little ants.
"Mommy! The ant had babies!!!" Ainsley exclaimed
"Where?!?!" Freddie ran over and squatted next to his sister. They spent the next 10 minutes watching them scurry back an forth along the cracked concrete. Ainsley even got one on her finger and didn't freak out.
They check on the ants almost every day.
So I had to keep her picture with ants. I can just picture myself one day going through the box with her...
"And this is your first report card, your first class picture, and your first picture of ants."
So silly...yet not.