Monday, August 31, 2015

Momma & Miles Monday: Kids Artwork

I thought I would change up the format of MM Mondays and instead of a random selfie dump, I'd give them some purpose...with a few selfies (or just pics of miles) thrown in.  Something I've learned as a result of being Miles' momma or some tip to share with other moms & moms-to-be...and still have a spot for a selfie dumps on the weeks that I have nothing to talk about.

Today, I'm tackling kids artwork.  All of those things they bring home from daycare or school, make at camp, or color at home on a rainy day.  What do you do with it (after a suitable replacement is found to display on the fridge, of course)??

I am a horrible packrat.  It's been bred into me, I think.  My parents kept everything from when I was a kid.  I love it - I love looking back on those things with fond memories, things I had 'forgotten' that come flooding back just by reading a story or holding a painting.  I appreciate and am thankful that my parents gave me that gift.  But it also comes at a bit of a price.  Those things spend most of their life in a box in a basement somewhere and only really get taken out when we're doing some kind of major cleaning/rearranging or moving.  Right now, they're all in a storage unit living an in-between life until we get to move into our new house...and then we'll have to decide where they'll live out the rest of their days, because our new house won't have a basement.

Chad is much less sentimental about things...well...about everything in general, but things especially.  Perhaps it's because he has a mostly eidetic memory, so he doesn't need to see or touch those things to be able to remember the events that led to their creation.  Perhaps it's because he's just a less emotional person overall.  I have an abysmal memory, and without a trigger, it's a wonder there's anything in my head, ever.  I need those reminders in order to have the memories - and I enjoy having the memories every once in awhile.

So, inevitably, when we moved, Chad encouraged me to purge.  A lot.  And I acquiesed to many of his requests.  It was a painful process that truly felt like throwing my childhood into a giant dumpster...maybe because that's what I was doing.  No but really...I cried a few times.  And despite all that, we still have a massive storage unit full of stuff that will continue to live in boxes that get opened *maybe* once every few years, that I just can't bear to part with (because that story I wrote about a cat named Cupcake in second grade is a masterpiece, dammit.  I typed it on a typewrite and bound it in wallpaper.  You don't just throw that shit away)!

So what does that have to do with my kid's artwork now?  Well, the fact is, he is starting to bring home a lot of arts and crafts now.  And I want to keep ALL. OF. IT.  But I can't.  I have too much of my own crap sitting in boxes that there's just no room for more...(god that sounds terribly selfish...but it's true).  I have to figure out a way to handle my need for sentiment while not instilling the same pack-rat nature in my son (and handling some of my own hoarding issues as well - that makes it sounds much more selfless doesn't it??).

I've decided to start taking pictures of all of Miles' art and storing it digitally, after its lived its full life on the fridge, of course.  There will, inevitably, be some special pieces that get saved, but the day-to-day stuff is going to be photographed and recycled (or as Miles' puts it risossled).  I started the process this weekend while we were cleaning up the kitchen.  This past week, daycare sent home all the artwork he had done throughout the month - so there was a rather large pile just chillin' on the kitchen table.  It was hard.  I struggled with it and I felt like a terrible mother once I actually placed those items in the trash can...but I took comfort in the fact that by storing them digitally, it would keep them in their original condition forever.  I'd never have to worry about things getting ruined in a flood or fire and not being able to get them back.  The only thing I really have to worry about now is my redundant back up system failing...the pictures are saved on my phone, and backed up to Dropbox and Google.  I hope that means they're safe!  Someday, I may think about putting the images together into a photo book or something, but that sort of defeats the purpose...I don't know.  We'll have to wait and see.

So here's his artwork album so far.  I do have some things in storage as well that will need to be photographed and added - but I'll continue to add to it as we get new things.  And while I know there's nothing really special or novel about this idea, I'm proud of myself for thinking of it.  And I hope Miles' inherits my sentimentality and appreciates it someday as well.

Photo Gallery by

How do you store and organize your kids' artwork?  Do you feel like a horrible monster when you throw something away, like I do?  Let me know in the comments!

And because no MM Monday post is complete without a picture of Mr. Miles - here he is yesterday afternoon...4 pm, playing on the floor with Grammy's ceramic shelties, and passed out sleeping out of nowhere.  Luckily, he still went to bed on time (actually, lil' angel went to bed early for being naughty...if you can believe it).

Until next time friends,

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