Remember This?

Keeping Mementos From The Past

By Diane Braun June 29, 2024

My oldest son is in marketing research.  He comes across lots of data on a daily basis and, every once in a while, sends me some information that he feels would be of interest to parents. Recently, he sent me the following:

  • 95 percent of parents of adult children said they still have photos of them as a child somewhere at home 
  • 74% still had some of their kid's art
  • 70% said they still held onto awards or certificates 
  • 29% said they still have baby teeth

Significant?  Are you like me right now: feeling like a part of those percentages?

As a former pre-Kindergarten teacher, I have always loved kid art. I would display it in my classroom every chance I got and once I had my own kids, their art would have that place of honor on the refrigerator. Once taken down, it went in a large chest in our bedroom along with their class photos and other memories. Now we have grandchildren and the tradition continues. My daughter-in-law gave me a large binder several years ago to keep their artwork in. This filled up pretty quickly. But, still, I can't find the strength to throw any away.

The trophies earned throughout my kids' childhood were turned over once they became adults and moved out on their own. Same with awards and certificates. (As an aside, on the topic of awards and certificates, when my parents passed away we found pretty much every report card, clipping, etc. in a drawer at their house for me and my siblings.  So this definitely isn't a new tendency.)

The only keepers I don't have are the baby teeth. Kind of sends a shiver down my spine to think of these in a box or drawer. I guess I heard this bit by comedian Dana Gould and it assures me I did the right thing. Dana Gould Baby Teeth

So, what do you think? My feeling is that the artwork done by my children and grandchildren shows their development.  From stick figures representing mom and dad to handprint turkeys and Christmas ornaments made from macaroni, I look at them and remember...their smiling face, so proud and excited, handing me this hand-made treasure. How can I let it go? I know I'll still have the memory but I'm not ready to physically let go of the result of their time and effort.

So I have decided these will be the legacy I leave them when I'm gone.  Here are my most treasured memories of you. Enjoy seeing them again and know how important they were to me.