Saving artwork, crafts, and homework assignments provides a snapshot of time well spent

img_5955Warm Memories

Saving artwork, crafts, and homework assignments provides a snapshot of time well spent

By David Bowen

High on the shelf in our master bedroom sits a large plastic tub. Frankly it’s an item that has been collecting dust for quite a while. Inside this tub are stacks of colorful drawings, puppets made from the cardboard tubes left from toilet paper, coat hanger mobiles, notes with misspelled words, handmade birthday cards, paper flowers made from cupcake wrappers, and a paper plate clock.

Silently I did wonder “why do we still have this tub”? Had you asked me a few weeks ago I probably would have said it’s for sentimental reasons. These are the crafts and pictures my kids drew when they were old enough to hold crayons. However, after seeing my kids look through this tub of past memories my perspective changed. My kids didn’t see pictures of trees and stars and animals and a bunch of stick figure people. They saw how much they were loved. It was amazing how they remembered the day they made some of these crafts. What we were doing, where we were, and most importantly the reactions that they received for completing such a majestic piece of work. From there the memories started to flood in.

The most interesting aspect of this was experiencing how my kids saw the love behind those days of Elmer’s glue and glitter. The view from their perspective is precious. They explain how special those activities were to them. They laughed at how proudly they remember drawing the family portrait (which included the family dog) and adding such details as daddy with his balding head. They remember which of the silly, cute pieces were displayed on the family refrigerator for all to see. The details they remembered were and are amazing. As a parent, slapping a refrigerated magnet on a family portrait drawn by a 6 year old was cute. Experiencing that act of love from the eyes of a six year old is humbling.

The kids are still proud of the assignment that received not a grade but a big star drawn on it stretching from the bottom of the page to the top. Who knew that meant so much to a young heart? I wondered how many handmade notes did we shove into a drawer to be forgotten and eventually tossed away? It made me wonder did we ever casually toss the math homework that received an A+? What did that A+ mean to a 5 year old? It’s not about the clutter. It’s not about the space a plastic tub takes up. It’s about the love and support our children feel when someone helps them feel valued.

I guess what this tub that has been sitting on the top shelf in our bedroom for years has taught me is that there is no trivial time spent with family. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem to a hectic adult schedule, those moments are molding love into a young heart that desperately wants a parent to be proud of them. These young hearts remember how delighted mom, dad, grandma, uncle, and cousin were of their artwork, their spelling quiz, their attempt at drawing the sun and moon and all the beauty their young eyes see. Time spent encouraging, loving, and showing interest in projects is not time lost but time invested. The dividends may not be realized for a decade or two, but there will be a return on your investment.

 

 

 

 

© 2018 85085 Magazine. A Division of Strickbine Publishing Inc.

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