Well I have a secret for you. The last school day is here and that means one final project for this mama. Unwisely and yet, purposely, I keep every single thing my kids bring home from school throughout the year. Into the bulging folder it goes as my husband asks if I can kindly make some more space in our filing cabinet. Who knows why but I feel that I must see EVERYthing until I decide what is special enough to keep in the “save” folder. So it’s time to riiiiiiiip off the band-aid and figure out what survives the paper avalanche.
Last year I made the mistake of waiting until school was out to tackle this. I also oddly had done this spread out on my closet floor which gave it a distinct “hoarders” feel to it. At least it was sentimental hoarding. I dump out 9 months of work onto my dining table and tell myself to keep calm. Out spills Thanksgiving headbands and “5 Little Pumpkins.” Holiday stuff? Immediate keep pile. I get confident as I fly through weeks of number counting and cut and paste charts. I’ve suddenly found myself confronted with papers welcoming us at the start of the year. The tears are starting to well up. How has this year gone by so quickly?! I continue to cruise along and up pops Valentine’s Cards with hand-written “I love you” on them. A small noise starts to come out of me…kind of like a mosquito in your ear but then it just keeps coming like a train. I continue on as silently as possible with the tears rolling down my cheeks. Hand drawn family photos? Keep. Anything with a handprint on it, much less a Christmas tree made entirely of handprints? How could I ever throw that out? I realize that I managed to save all 26 letter friend worksheets to review over the summer. It’s an end of school miracle!
Then I find one last piece. It’s a small handmade Mardi Gras type mask with the phrase “I can see the best in my friends through my loving eyes.” And it sums up what I’ve been feeling all along….not just the love and work that I see my son has done all year, but his teachers as well. Those poor teachers I’ve been harassing for the last four weeks with comments like “I can’t believe the year is almost over” not just because I’m excited for summer but really because it takes a village and they are my village. Every step of the way they have not only put up with my crazy but welcomed it with open arms. The loving eyes that the quote speaks of is not just a phrase to make our children understand their place in the world, it is a testament to the quality and care that these teachers give day in and day out. It’s a quote that embodies the community at our school, lead by the most amazing director ever. It’s the spirit of the other families we have come to know and love. We went to bed last night with my oldest asking to read (my favorite) “Are You My Mother?” and my preschooler singing “This Little Light of Mine” one more time for me as we cuddled in bed. Next year brings kindergarten I’m sure with no less sentiment. For today, I will cherish these memories and thank God for the blessing of another wonderful school year.
PS All pics shown in this blog most definitely made the keeper pile ❤
PPS Luckily, I had my filing system for schoolwork complete from last year. YES. You can read about it here.