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Thursday, October 6, 2011

How I preserved my adult child’s childhood memories

I am a multigenerational mom. The title comes from the fact that I have a 20-year-old daughter along with three elementary-age children. Being the mom of two generations of children can prove to be a little difficult, but that’s a subject for an entirely different post. What I’ve been doing recently reminded me of just how many years have passed since my oldest daughter Amber was a little girl.

In trying to get my apartment organized and decorated to my satisfaction, I have been coming across memories from Amber’s childhood: pictures, art projects, notes, cards and much more. Some of those memories are in her siblings rooms because she let them have the majority of her childhood books as well as some toys.

DSCF5829 A favorite book that I bought her when she was in elementary school was a sticker cling one with scenes of Mickey Mouse and the gang. Some pages were colorful with missing items of the picture, which the reader has to find and put in place. The other pages were black and white – identical to the colored pages – so the child could color it to either match the picture or use their own creativity.

DSCF5833Amber took such good care of that book that all of the pieces were still together for her younger siblings to enjoy. I used to keep the book out of their reach so that it would be preserved then when I let them play with it I would see sticker clings all over the place. On the floor in the living room, stuck to someone’s sock and transported back and forth from bedroom to living room or into the bathroom, they just ended up any- and everywhere.

Seeing the pieces strewn about so haphazardly really annoyed and upset me. I would pick them up, set them to the side to be reunited with the book and other pieces, which I had carefully placed in a Ziploc bag. After weeks – if not months – of doing this over and over and over again I became frustrated.

Why weren’t this children adhering to the important code of keeping Amber’s book in price-winning condition? Then it dawned on me. With my first daughter, who is now 20 years old, out of the home, in her third year of college and living in her own apartment, I was still trying to hang on to pieces of her. So, I decided to dispose of the book.

I just couldn’t do it.

I played with the book a bit then sat it on the floor and just looked at it. What could I do to minimize clutter, which is an ongoing goal, but preserve this important memory?

Eureka!

DSCF5835I’m in the process of decorating the children’s bathroom with a Mickey Mouse theme. I took a few of the sticker clings and adhered them to the mirror in their bathroom. That way we could all enjoy them, they served a purpose and I would feel bad about trashing the book. It worked beautifully and my children love it!

Each time I venture into their bathroom I have to smile. Not only are Mickey and Minnie Mouse a joy to look at, but I get to see about five or six pieces of my daughter’s book that bring back such great memories. Other memories will be added to scrapbooks and photo albums.

Take a look at the other Mickey elements I’ve added so far:

This Mickey nightlight is great. It’s really bright and has an on and off switch.

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Here’s Mickey peeking around his curtain before he puts on a show. I actually cut this off of a folder that came with Mickey Mouse promotional items last year.

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Aren’t these shower hooks adorable?!

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There’s one Mickey Mouse banner on the wall opposite the mirror and four triangle shaped Mickey hats that match the banner. It’s definitely a Mickey explosion.

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Is there a memory from your child’s childhood that you can’t part with? And, do your children have a dedicate bathroom for them? If so, does it have a theme?

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