My Scrapbook Resume

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've been trying to get to this for a while...

I finally had a chance to do some personal scrapbooking. And I have been looking forward to sharing the process and the results. The photos aren't great, but I had a story I needed to record. It is not even a universal story that will be meaningful to all. But, it was important to me, and that is what scrapbboking is about. Taking the time to record the small moments. I am sure that if this day was not scrapped, it would soon be long forgotten. And the way for me to be inspired to record this memory, is to make it look pretty.

This layout is a lot wordier than I am accustomed to. Journaling is not my strong suit. But, here it is anyway.

A brief summary: We had a great big "clean out the kids' room day." That is all. But along the way I was struck by some things about myself, the kids, and the meaning of some stuff we have accumulated along the way. So, here's to decluttering, and to remembering the little things. Hope you enjoy.

And here are the words:

It’s no secret that I love to declutter. Get rid of stuff. Make empty space. Clean and Organize. I usually get to the kids’ stuff around Chanukah time, to make room for the new loot. This year, the kids were excited to help me out. It was their Chanukah vacation (one day), and this is how they spent it.

Max was especially good at getting rid of things. Sam had more things that he didn’t want to throw away, which makes sense, because Max does not really play with toys anymore. And Sam loves all things broken and shiny. A stray wire, a broken antenna, a stray key, are the stuff Sam’s dreams are made of. And I love that about him. Also, it something we share. While I don’t like to hoard things, I see cool little things, and think, “hmm, what can I make?” Sometimes it’s an issue, because we each have different plans for the same item. I really wanted the empty whiskey bottle for flowers or d├ęcor, and he needed it for his game. But, I can be very patient…when he’s not looking…it’s all mine…

Anyway, Sam got to keep some of what he wanted, and some was thrown away anyway. I think we gave away more this year than usual, because it seems we have really moved to a whole new stage of life. 24 piece puzzles are not interesting to anyone in this family. Nobody needs the junior version of Scrabble, Mancala, Rummikub. No more games to help you learn to read. No more mini skateboard. We are past all that. We are entirely in the world of middle childhood. That is reflection #1.

Reflection #2: It was interesting to see what Max did not throw away. He knew: you never get rid of Lego. It never gets old, outdated, or boring. They still play with my childhood legos at my parent’s house. I also told him before—“you never get rid of lego.” Lesson learned. But on his own, he figured out that we keep the No, David books. Those are too good, and too much a part of their childhood to get rid of. Harold and the Purple Crayon—a classic, and he knew that too. There were a few books that made it to the “toss” pile, but when I mentioned that Bapa gave them to us, they both agreed that they needed stay, in order to remember him. And, I too could not part with some books. I mean, I love good children’s books, so some were not a surprise (Make Way for Ducklings, Not a Box). But I was surprised that some books that I know are not particularly good, I still could get rid of them. Mostly animal books that I bough when I first started teaching—I couldn’t throw them away yet. And it’s because of the memories of sitting for hours ((!!!) No kids yet) on the floor of Barnes and Nobles picking those out. I carried them back and forth to my classrooms for years.

And one final moment from that day; a lesson for parents about kids: As I mentioned, Max was more inclined to toss things, and I enthusiastically praised him for it. While Max was cleaning out the books, Sam kept trying to squeeze in and help. Max kept yelling at him to get out of the way, and Sam burst into super sad tears, saying, “what can I do to help?!” And I think that the kid who is so tough, and who gives the impression that he doesn’t care what we expect of him, really is just trying hard to do the right thing, if only to hear some parental approval. And, I am not big into doling out false praise. And Kids need to deal with the fact that sometimes, someone else will be better than them, or at least get the credit. But, still, it is interesting and important to see how much they care.

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