The Things We Collect

So, that may or may not be related to the book, ‘The Things We Carried’. I read it in high school or college. I don’t remember which. I can’t even tell you if I finished the book at all. That is not a criticism of the book either. That is a statement about my life at the time. Even reading a book was often too difficult a task. Or opening it. I remember sitting in my bedroom for hours, just staring at my school books trying to will myself to move and lift the cover. And let me be clear. I am a nerd. Have always been a nerd and will always be a nerd. I love learning. I love reading and researching almost anything. So not being able to do my schoolwork was torture for me.

Anyhoo, this seems to be turning into something I hadn’t planned. The things we collect. Here’s the bomb. We’re moving soon and so I’ve been sorting and cleaning and packing over the last month or so. I have unearthed things I haven’t thought about much. I also discovered that I have three memory boxes, not one. My kids have marveled over my ability to hang on to certain items from my childhood, because, you know, it was soooooo long ago. They also know how many times I’ve moved before I met their father and how many times him and I have moved. They like to count the number of houses they’ve lived in. Our oldest has moved the most, 5 houses. Our youngest has never lived anywhere but where we are right now.

I have every journal I’ve ever written in. Almost none of them written in til the last page. I never liked using a journal all up. I have my two flower girl dresses. There are a lot of school papers, report cards, and essays I was particularly proud of. I have little toys and postcards. Notes and photos, souvenirs from places I’ve been. I still have the teddy bear I bought in Berlin to help me through the trip. My depression was an ugly thing in high school. This tiny grey bear kept me calm, so it has been tucked away for safekeeping while my girls were too little to understand. Since finding him while sorting, he sits out on a shelf, and they all understand his importance to me. I’ve had him for 20 years! It still feels bizarre to be able to say that.

I also have many books from my youth. Some from my childhood that my mother kept safe until I had my own. Others were important to me during my developing years and so came with me with every move. This post was supposed to be about yarn and knitting books, instead I seem to be sorting through my own experiences with the great changes of life. The big events that shaped me. This will be one that shapes not just myself and my husband or our family, but each of our kids will have their own relationship with this life event.

New schools, new town, new house, new rules. Everything they really remember has been here. Telling them stories about the times I moved as a kid seems to help. I share how scary and exciting it was. The hard parts, the easy parts. We focus on all the opportunities our new house will give us. We’re also making this a slow move. It’s about an hour away, so we’ll start taking boxes over and setting a few things up to help the girls with the transition. We’re hoping that by staying here until school is over and giving the girls more time to adjust and say goodbye will help. It will be interesting to see what becomes part of my children’s collection. What their memory boxes may hold.

Published by adg34

Wife, mother, massage therapist, crafter, book lover, and nature lover.

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