I spent a good chunk of last week (Spring Break) going through boxes from our storage unit as we try to pare down our possessions, part of the downsizing exercise we began nearly two years ago when we moved from the five-bedroom house where we raised our kids to a smaller home in another state.
I thought I’d gotten rid of my two big kids’ schoolwork before we moved, but I found more boxes last week, including one full of Peter’s workbooks and notebooks from age 5 on. (Boy, I sure spent a lot on A Beka in the early years of homeschooling!) And I think it’s ok to get rid of all his schoolwork, LOL, seeing how he graduated from college two years ago. I think he proved he knows a few things. But it’s hard letting go of the past. I’m forcing myself to only keep a few notebooks and other papers with his writing.
Even with some of the stuff pitched already, it stunned me to look at all of the books and papers and realize that this was the evidence of what I’ve been doing for the past twenty-some years. We moms are accustomed to having what we produce disappear: folded stacks of laundry and racks of homemade cookies evaporate soon after we produce them. So to see even just a portion of the work we produced over all those years of homeschooling kind of takes my breath away….and makes it that much harder to pitch things. But I was strict with myself, and we overloaded the garbage man last week.
Of course, old schoolwork isn’t all I’m finding in these boxes. I’ve been addicted to newspapers for almost my entire life, and as a result I’m the queen of clippings. Seems like there’s always something interesting in the paper that I need to tear out and save because I might want to read it again sometime. This explains all the clippings stuffed in boxes (along with old magazines I kept meaning to read). Not a good thing years later when you need to go through it all.
I can’t possibly read all of that stuff now, but as I sorted, I kept the articles I just couldn’t resist, and reread them all at night, when I was tired of going through boxes. And I learned something interesting: the articles found in the newspapers and magazines of the 1980s and 1990s are a lot more useful than what you see these days. There were plenty of solid, informational articles, as opposed to the tidal wave of celebrity worship and high-priced decorating ideas seen in recent years. No wonder newspapers are dropping like flies these days.