Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Putting Aside Parental Guilt with the Help of My Scanner

My little girl is an artist. At least once a day she pulls out her paints and goes to town.

I have dozens of pieces of paper around the house that look like this:

 Dozens, I tell ya. I am not sure what to do with them all. Quite a few are hung around the house. A few are stacked in piles. A few are painted front and back to reuse paper. I need to get rid of them, but I feel so dang guilty!

Every parent has a ton of guilt - it is part of the parental package. It may be a bit selfish, but let me go out on a limb and say that adoptive parents have a little bit more. Whenever I am about to throw one of these paintings away, I pause and remember the empty years of yearning for a child. How can I throw her paintings away? It seems like a slap in the face to my former self. And I think of her birth family. They still miss her. They will always have an unending ache for her. I am sure they would walk across hot coals to have all these paintings.

Sometimes I put on a thick skin and just toss some out. But I decided I would compromise. Thanks to my nifty scanner, I have memorialized her paintings in digital format and can feel (a little) less guilty about throwing them out.


Mom on the Go said...

It only gets worse when you have more kids. In my perfect world I would have a folder for each kid for each year of their life where I could keep things. Right now I have a box for each kid where I toss things I want to keep. Maybe when they have all moved out I can go through everything and organize it.

Emily said...

Some of those are really cute!! I have framed some of my daughter artwork. Put mainly, I am keeping the USPS in business because family gets lots of letters written on the back of artwork.

Jamie Boyd said...

Jackson creates artistic masterpieces daily, so I have the same problem. I hang them on the fridge for a few days and then throw them out to make room for new pictures. But occassionally Jackson finds one of them in the garbage and is heartbroken. I always pretend like it was an accident (or blame it on daddy) and then put them on the fridge a little longer until he forgets again.

kareydk said...

I read a suggestion once to get a rubbermaid storage container, label it with the date the first masterpiece is deposited in it, keep tossing the masterpieces in, and then, when full, label the end date and start the process over. This of course means you need a place to store the container while it is being filled (ours in under the kitchen table) and then a place to store after it is full (I'm hoping our crawl space has a door and is accessible by then). Then when the child turns 18 or 21, you hand them the bins and let them decide what to keep/discard. No guilt!

Lara said...

My mother did that with her 5 kids - well, sort of. We each had a box and she kept the cuter stuff from every grade/year. But with five kids, it adds up fast. I only have a 2 year old and I already have 2 good sized boxes brimming with stuff. And I am sure it will get worse the older she gets! I got the scan idea from my friend. She puts all her kids' artwork on her blog. I think it's brilliant. I just feel guilty throwing them away because, not because it's my child's art (though it's part of it) but mostly because I feel like I should appreciate/treasure it more because I was childless for so long and another mother out there went through unspeakable pain to give me the ability to have treasures like these around my house.

Kim said...

Send them to her birth parents, if possible.


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