“God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.” ~J.M. Barrie,
Every year my kids go away for a couple of weeks with their dad…and every year I take advantage of that time to clean around the house. The annual purge is not a particularly a happy time…there are a few days there where I feel like I am one of the people being profiled on, “Hoarding, Buried Alive,” because the reality is, before you can reconstruct, you got to deconstruct. But happily the final result is this… and this…. If you want to know how long these closets will stay this clean…well, that’s a question I just can’t answer…not sure if anyone can. If you take into account that they’re boys, and then add in the fact that they’re boys…I would guess one week, possibly two…but at least I know that at one time they were clean and that makes me happy.
Now as much as dread the annual cleaning, I always feel so accomplished when I’m done. And then there are those unexpected surprises. I’m not talking about the things the kids have hidden in there, although I’m sure those things will start popping up soon. But as I was going through Little Bit’s room I came across his first pair of real shoes. Please understand, I am not a sentimental person…there are very few things that I save, but I have kept both of my boys’ first pair of shoes. When I pulled the shoes out of the box, I was overwhelmed with memories. I got this image of my precious little baby, and remembered why the toes of the shoes were so worn… he was such a wild man baby. He had the most precious orange glow to his head for months after he was born. The orange glow eventually turned into big ginger curls, but it took a while. So many strangers would walk up to Little Bit in the grocery store, restaurants, everywhere, and rub his little red head for luck… I was afraid he was never going to grow any hair. It was so refreshing, in the midst of the mundane task of cleaning out closets, to be able to take a momentary stroll down memory lane. I put the shoes back in the box, put them in the memory box with the few other pieces of sentimental memorabilia that I keep, and went back to cleaning out the rest of the closet….pulling out the shoes that he most recently outgrew and putting them in a bag of things to be given away. It’s not as if there aren’t memories attached to the newer shoes…there are always going to be memories attached to everything my guys touch…but not like that first pair of shoes. So…as much as a hate the annual purge…I love the perks…it almost makes me look forward to next year…almost, but not quite.
And with that I say, “Damn, I can’t remember where I put the screw drivers…oh yeah, the tool box, oh wait, the tool drawer…has anyone checked the refrigerator?”