Saving Art

Summer vacation has started, and with it comes a stack of papers. Each child brought home all the art work, writing, and other papers teachers save throughout the year. And it leads me to a question: what kind of mom am I? Am I the kind of mom who saves each child’s art or work? Or am I the kind of mom that tosses it in the recycle bin? Even if I only save “the best representation of this year’s efforts” that adds up to quite a bit of paper. And I live in a small house, with limited storage.

Though even if I had the most organized of all home offices, with plenty of drawer space for each child’s work, really, am I that kind of mom? Stuff bugs me. I don’t want it, even though I seem to have accumulated a house full of it.

And this art. What am I saving it for? Are my kids really going to want it when they are grown? I don’t have any of my first grade work, and you know what? I don’t miss it. But maybe my kids will. I can’t help but feel this is a sort of mom test. Will I be judged if I don’t keep it all? Or at least some of it?

Am I being ridiculous? Yes. There are real problems out there, stuff I should be honestly worried about. And here I sit, thinking about the bird collage Jett brought home. And what I should do with it.

I’m just not a saver. Really, I suck at it. I don’t save anything. Not money, leftovers, receipts, medical reports, aluminum foil, Ziplocs, you get the point. It’s a character flaw, I’m sure. Maybe I should start with something small. Maybe I should start saving their teeth. (ewww!)


About morelikeaveragemom

I'm a stay home mom with 3 kids. I am simply figuring it out as I go.
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2 Responses to Saving Art

  1. Shelly L says:

    I have similar struggles but from the flipside. I am a saver, but still ridden with guilt. Should I not use my talents to thoughtfully curate and artistically display the art, or otherwise enshrine it in a scrapbook or something … and while I sit struggling, years pass. And stacks pile up. I have a stack from kinder, still … and before kinder, truthfully. I think the real answer is to create a single repository, either a scrapbook or a nice box, per child, and be ruthless about what goes in it. Maybe one thing from each year — or less, maybe just one good thing from each couple of years. Then they can look back and see their childhood selves reflected. They won’t care if they have work from each and every year, but I know I treasure the few child artworks that my mom saved of mine, and especially that Colin’s mom saved of Colin’s. I love seeing a bit of what he was back way before I knew and loved him.

  2. Noel says:

    Saving teeth! I cannot believe you wrote that! My DAD has all of mine and my brother’s baby teeth still…… to this day….. in his top dresser drawer. My Mom has no idea why. Yes, ewww. But it’s way of saving – he really is a sweet man, I swear.

    As for the artwork from school, I only have one little one so it’s a bit easier for me to handle than you, dear friend. I do have a little file that holds a few key pieces from each year.

    Another great way to do this – buy three cheap, canvas’s for painting. Also buy a beginners set of acrylic artist paint and some big fat cheap brushes. The kids can make their own original artwork and hang it in their room for years. Paige has two homemade works of art in her room that are from when she was 4 and 5 years old. They’re quite amazing, too. Vibrant and perfect for her room.

    And cheap!!!!! It’s a good project for in the garage or the backyard. The acrylics are water based so it’s much better for cleanup and the surrounding artwork area. Also, you can use the mixed paint from hardware stores that is sold at a discount when it’s mixed incorrectly. That “paint bin” is always a bargain waiting to happen. Another alternative to canvas? Dry wall. Yep! A huge sheet is super cheap and can be cut into any sizes and shapes that you choose. And the paper on the drywall is GREAT with acrylics, too. And the artwork can be sealed on the drywall with a spray on or paint on clear coat of almost any kind. It will last for years!

    The local hardware store will have industrial looking screws, hinges, wire – all kinds of things to help hang the work without it looking ragged with the rough edges of the cut dry wall sticking out. The hardware make it look modern and “artsy” and more expensive than it is.

    There’s all kinds of ways to keep your kids artwork without cluttering your house or having to keep track of it yourself.

    If we get down to Austin this summer – I’ll see if I can drop off some art supplies for you guys. And if we do make it to the Lost Pines resort in Bastrop, then you should bring the kids to swim the lazy river and ride the water slide with my little Paigey. She would love to have friends to play with – I’m pretty boring. 🙂

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