Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Live, Learn, Pass It On

I went to bed last night thinking about the mint green, simple, long dress I ordered from the Sears Roebuck catalog in 1977, which would be my prom dress that year.  I've been following a group on FB called "You're Probably From Haines If You Remember ..."

Quite a few girls I grew up with have commented how we used to live for the day the Sears catalog arrived. We would wear out the pages just looking and dreaming about something we'd love to have.  I'm quite certain we lived in a recession much worse than we are in now ... or at least it seemed like it.  We didn't get a lot of new things but I did order my dress from Sears and I absolutely loved it.

I'm pretty sure this group on FB has been the cause of my thinking about that darn dress. I just can't get it out of my mind. 

After I graduated, mom kept that dress hanging in her closet. I'm quite certain the dress is still hanging in a closet somewhere. She always offered to give it to me but I never wanted it after I wore it that one time. I've never been one to hang on to a lot of "stuff". Well, except for ...

My son's stuff.  I have a couple of boxes of old elementary school papers that I opened up this morning. I used to start a new box at the beginning of every school year and all his graded papers would go in the box along with memorabilia from the news that year. I made the mistake of opening one of the boxes this morning and a flood of tears came rushing. I don't why that happens. I had forgotten that I stuck a couple of his summer outfits in the box. There is a t-shirt from a sponsor of his t-ball team. I had to laugh because he hated playing t-ball. We made him keep going because we were so desperate to meet new people in Juneau that summer, although I'm not sure we made any new friends from that adventure. 

There are many other treasures in the box but I had to close it back up. Crying gives me a headache. I'm going to tuck that box in the closet. Perhaps I'll open it another day.  There are other things in the box that maybe he'll want someday but I wouldn't bet on it. He's a minimalist.  Good for him! 

I'm not going to ask him a million times if he wants these things, like my mom did.  Gosh, how guilty I felt for always telling her I didn't want all that stuff she saved from my childhood days. I still don't want it.  But I finally get it.  I get what that stuff meant to her and my dad.

If you are reading this and you've got little children, I hope you save some memories from their daily lives. Save those little poems they write. I still get choked up just looking at my son's handwriting on a piece of paper. It doesn't even have to be anything profound or artsy.  I look at that piece of paper and it's something that connects me with him.  I can't really explain it. 

love, susan


  1. Oh what memories! I loved pouring over the Sears Catalog, and when I was a kid, there was the joy of the Christmas Catalog!!!

    I can relate about the memorabilia from children. Earlier this evening I used the spoon rest my daughter made out of ceramic when she was in school--and I smiled. It still sits on my stove. And some of my son's toys are now in the toy box for the grandkids to play with.

  2. I have my youngest son's first kindergarten finger painting in a frame behind a photograph. He's now 28 years old. Whenever I change out the photograph in that frame, I see his painting and it makes me melancholy. *sigh* I also have the ashtray he made me in 2nd grade (back when everyone seemed to smoke). it was made of clay and it's all lopsided and painted a hideous teal green and blue. I haven't smoked in decades, but that ashtray is put away in our china cabinet. I can see his tiny fingerprints embedded in the clay.

  3. I finally came to the conclusion that I wasn't really saving that stuff for my son ... I saved it for me. Oh, the time goes by so fast.


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