On Things That Mothers Keep
Some day when my hair is silver grey and you are older you will find tiny baby teeth held back from the tooth fairy`s vast collection, random works of my kindergarten Picassos and every hand-drawn card my grandchildren ever sent me. When I am old and you are older and all this is meant to be emptied, divided up, sold off or given out you will find the cards I forgot to send and some that were sent to me when my heart was full and I was young and I made my mark on the world as a teacher, a Mom, or even just someone who cared.
Oh you will shake your head, I know. And you will wonder how could she keep so much stuff ? Tsk, Tsk. And then when you are almost done cleaning you will find the drawer you never looked in filled to the brim with every article you ever wrote, every portrait you ever stood for, random report cards that sung your praises. Even one that did not. The high school graduation picture you hated, a program from that play you starred in back in grade four and one from a pageant you never won. A snapshot of that dress from the prom. A picture of your date. Every Mother`s Day card you ever mailed.
In an album in the back of my bedroom closet you will find a picture of me dancing when I was eight, an old CD, a broken toy you slept with every night until you turned 11. Here is the blanket I never had the chance to pass on to your daughter and the earrings I wore to your wedding. Here is the present I never got to give your son the Christmas I fell sick.
You will lift them, one by one, reading each as they spill across your lap, falling from your fingers faster than the tears that slip down your cheeks.
You will miss me in ways you never thought, even long before I am gone, as I vanish slowly in pieces. You will cry, scream, write, rail, paint and live out your days. You will flourish, you will fly and come back to tidy up these fraying strings.
Maybe I will lose my words and forget names and places.
Maybe I will spend my days playing Bingo.
Maybe I will slip away fast or slow, at hospital? At home?
My memory lost in tangles and plaque.
Don`t forget I was real.
I loved my babies as fiercely as you do yours now.
It is true some day I may not recall your name,
but I will never lose these things that mothers keep written on every fraction of their heart.
lovely post it is true every piece of work the children do are things we want to cherish
Thank you. I love the special gifts my kids give me and I no longer think it creepy that people keep baby teeth.
Beautifully written :'(
I always thought my mom was nuts for keeping all of the cards. I get it now. And I wish I could keep every single piece of paper that my kids give me. Even looking at pictures they drew a year ago shows me how much they’ve grown.
A friend of mine used to have her 30 year old sons baby teeth in bottom of her purse. I secretly thought that was crazy. Now I fully understand.
I keep everything! I have piles of art work, school work, cards, etc. I need to go through it and get rid of some of it but I can’t seem to bring myself to do it!
I know the feeling.
ok – that made me cry….
I was crying writing it looking through all the stuff my mom saved from her kids.
How touching! I hope to leave behind lots of memories for my children to pass on too.
I bet you will leave them some beautiful things that remind them how much you love them.
What a beautiful post. I have been keeping a large box of keepsakes since my daughter was born. I hope to give it to her when she has a child of her own.
Kelly: that is a great idea!
I keep all kinds of stuff, too! I was using a paper weight last night that I simply couldn’t remember where I got it from. My daughter came in my office and reminded me that she got it for me years ago! I love it, I am so glad she reminded me. 🙂
That made me cry, too! Very sweet post. Our kids are teens and there’s nothing better than looking back at baby pictures and other mementos from their younger days.
Awwww! I love this post! Paula, this made me CRY! Feeling incredibly emotional these past few days. This totally made me bawl 🙂 You are such an awesome mama!
Love and hugs to you! No bullies ever for babies should be the rule eh? Talk with little ones teacher if it is happening and bothering you.
This made me tear up! How beautiful! I cherish all of those memories, and I make sure I keep many of them…and someday they’ll appreciate everything I’ve kept.
Some day I hope they realize that you kept all that stuff because it filled your heart with joy.
My hormones are all of the place thank you for making me even more weepy 😉
Sorry honey! I was weepy yesterday writing it. I should not have gone to clean the condo by myself and btw moms should never get Alzheimer’s. It is too sad.
Wonderful post! I don’t have children. But I have things that my niece and nephews made when they were really young and have saved them. I am planning to surprise them one day when they are older – perhaps when they get married or have their first child.
That will be very special and appreciated.
Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired
I always wish there was a way to keep every single drawing, coloring page, and card. They all mean so much I’ve got boxes and boxes full of my kids artwork and other mementos from their childhood.
I am crying 🙁 This is beautiful and so true. Not only for me but for my own Mom. I dread the day when I have to go through her stuff and find all the stuff she has kept. Thank you so much for sharing.
awwwwww. what a post you have written my friend! *sniffle*