Most of you, Dear Readers, do not know this factoid about The Kidling. She is a prolific artist. Yes, all five year-old children draw. Yes, they are all irrationally attached to their work products. But… The Kidling is different.
I know. Shut up.
After a scarring event involving one of her masterpieces and the recycling bin, she has become uncompromising. We keep every. single. thing. she brings home.
Did you catch that? Every. Single. Thing.
The caveat is that The Kidling is responsible for finding a location in her bedroom to store the piles and piles of paper. My hope is that she will eventually lose the ability to navigate the room, get fed up, and beg me to ditch a few gems.
I’m not holding my breath.
Misty water-colored memories…
This evening, The Kidling found a recent work from her sizeable oeuvre that I missed when emptying her backpack after school. This particular work–Opus 9,215–consisted of a sheath of five sheets of 8.5 by 11 inch printer paper . The stack was folded in half width-wise to make a small book and each page contained a series of squiggly lines.
You guessed it: her memories.
The Kidling gasped when she saw me with the journal in my hands, “My old memories!” Then, wistfully, “Old memories are important.”
Her eyes glazed over in contemplation. “Old memories are important,” she repeated. “It makes me think of when we were young and things were harder. When we were young and (pauses) We didn’t get to play on the playground.”
Confused, I asked for clarification. “Who didn’t get to play?”
“At pre-school,” she replied.
And then I remembered: the first week of pre-school. Bliss. Fun and learning and good old-fashioned gross motor skill development. Then one fateful day someone marched into the classroom and told the teacher that the playground equipment was only safety rated for kidlings aged five or older.
So it ended. After that, recess involved balls and an open field while the gleaming play structures taunted them from thirty yards away.
What’s too painful to remember…
If only The Kidling had come with a “forget” button. Alas, she will carry this indignity to her grave. Or to junior high.