The second floor of the house remains a war zone, though with the desk somewhat cleared off, I'm at least back in my home office. This room feels a lot smaller than the other one and I'm increasingly glad we chose to convert the other room to a nursery, even if the war zone look is probably not recommended by pediatricians and other such experts.
Going through everything we've managed to collect between us over the years, it kind of amazes/disgusts me to realize how much of a packrat I really am. I didn't think, for instance, that I had actually kept any graded schoolwork - and yet the pile ready for the trash can taunts me. Why I considered it important to keep I'll never know, because all I can think now is that there isn't room for it and I hadn't seen it in twenty years anyway.
Destined for the trash with those sixth-grade essays are my college notebooks, full of the notes I took in political theory and Texas history. Those are the only two that appear to have survived, and while flipping through them reminded me that I was once a pretty diligent note-taker and obviously bored doodler, I can't see a reason to save either at this point.
My mom saved my preschool student profile and "grades," and handed them off to me some years ago. I found them again tonight, and my mind immediately went to the Biscuit (the baby's nickname while in utero, long story). Preschool is about four years off from this point, but I wonder very much if his/her experience will be like mine in any way. I have a hazy recollection of playing house, being scolded for taking the kitchen toys out of the kitchen area, naps, playing tag with another little girl named Michelle and two boys named Michael and Blaine. I remember their names because Michelle was the only other girl I knew with that name for a good fifteen years (despite its seeming popularity now), and I was teased for years about the boys. Thanks, family.
I have no idea if Mom had more of this stuff hidden away for her own purposes, though it is likely because I had to have inherited this pack-rat thing from someone (Dad is a candidate, too, believe me!). I wonder sometimes what we'll find when it comes time to pack away her things, and I try not to think too hard about whether I'll find the goofy crafts we all made as gifts for Mother's Day or the Christmas cards or birthday cards sent from the seemingly far-away places we all left home for. What if I find more of my kindergarten-era "homework" and "report cards," revealing Mom's sentimental side?
What did she want to always remember about me, and find a place for in her small closets or dresser drawers?