Moving into a new house makes you imagine the future. I’ve pictured how my son’s new room will look, where he will ride his first bike, and where he will do his homework. However, packing to move into this new house forces you to confront the past. Instead of throwing everything into boxes, I’m trying to pack wisely and eliminate the clutter that accompanies us. While it may be easy to part with my medical school review books and clothes collecting dust in the back of my closet, any memorabilia relating to my son is much more difficult to spare. Sorting through each construction paper scribble project makes me nostalgic and since he’s only been scribbling for a few months, they aren’t even very old yet!
Years ago, I went through this with my younger sister. Since I’ve lived outside my parents’ house for her entire life, my mom has mailed me pieces of her artwork over the years and I saved every one of them. During this time period, I moved many times and each time packed up her artwork and filed it in another desk/dresser/bookshelf. Eventually, I came up with the idea to scan each item and make a photo book, which not only organizes the pieces in a tidy format but preserves them through each move and over time. Now that I am mother to my own little artist, I need to start scanning again so that I can save each project electronically and save the most special pieces for display.
In addition to packing for our move, Hurricane Sandy has made me think about what items in my home I value most. The mayor and governor talk about taking your “most valuable possessions” with you in the case of an emergency evacuation. Besides the people and pets in my home, what would I take? Years ago, I would have said my photo albums, but now most photos are digital. So many of the things that are precious to me are the little reminders of the good and bad times over the years, because after thirteen years with my husband, six years of marriage, and 19 months of being a parent, I know how quickly it all goes and I want to cherish it all. As I’ve seen through my sister’s art, children’s drawings are a great way to see their perspective and development over time, which is why these projects are so special to me. While N’s current art consists of scribbles and glued tissue paper, I am excited to see his progression and add each new masterpiece to his portfolio.