In my basement, amongst all of the other shit that ends up down there due to not having a garage and having a house that is set up in a more awkward fashion than a teenage boy trying to cop his first feel, there are three Rubbermaid containers. One is almost completely full; one is partially full, and one does not have very much in it.
These are the boxes in which I put a variety of things from each of the girls. Report cards. Mother's Day cards. Art from the art show. Newspaper clippings in which they are featured. Significant school projects.
I have stuff from Elizabeth when she was in daycare. Class pictures from Alexis's preschool years. The first time Charlie wrote her name all by herself.
Let's face it here...I am not going to scrapbook these memories. I tried it once and then immediately drank a bottle of wine. I would much rather crochet the day away or create hair bows my children will never wear than scrapbook. I also really suck at keeping baby books. Do they even really do those anymore? Charlie's might have like the first page filled out. That is like some sort of cruel motherhood torturing device...let's give you a cute book that you have to write down shit your baby does because you will TOTALLY have time for that. Fuck. That. At least the wine consumption you can do while holding the child. Ever try to write something with a child on your lap? Or try to scrapbook? Too many sharp objects and too much glue to do with a kid around. At least with making the clips, if they touch the hot glue gun they'll learn. And if they don't...well, you have bigger fish to fry my friend.
I am really trying to avoid thinking about the box that is almost full. Elizabeth will be leaving soon. And not just to go visit her father. Like, leaving and being legally responsible for herself and having to manage her money and cook her own meals and take care of herself if she gets sick leaving. Like having to manage her time and make her own curfew leaving.
She is an amazing kid. Despite my best efforts to totally fuck her up, she is just amazing. Her little sisters look up to her with so much awe (and totally call her out when she is being a turd). That box that is full...that is a short lifetime of memories there. Of growth, and learning, and accomplishments.
Some day her sisters' will have full boxes too. And I will know that it is time to let them go. And I just have to hope that they remember touching that hot glue gun, and all of the other lessons that come along with that short lifetime. Eighteen years does not seem long enough to prepare them for a lifetime. And yet, somehow we do.