Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Kid's stuff

I've always been a bit sentimental. For over 20 years, whenever one of our children gave me something such as a card, a drawing, a note, etc., I put the item in a box labeled "KID'S STUFF". The box is the kind that reams of paper come in, the ones with slide-on lids. On Father's day this year, I decided to sit down and go through the box. What an experience! There's nothing like having over twenty years of memories come flooding back at you. I had the greatest time reading notes, gazing at pictures drawn for my office, and looking at cards that contained expressions of love and appreciation. It took me a while to get through the whole box, as I alternatively laughed and sobbed the entire time.

My wife has a similar box, too, which I know is just as priceless to her. The contents of these boxes are of little monetary value, but it's what they represent that gives them their value. One of the most expensive toys we ever bought our kids was a trampoline. After our kids grew up and we gave it away, I didn't think about how much it cost (other than that it was one of the best investments we ever made). I thought about crack-the-egg contests, doing flips, and sleeping out under the stars on the tramp.

Some time ago, I was sitting at the kitchen table writing a note to my wife. As I looked at the table, which we've had for many years, I noticed slight etchings in its surface. Visible were numbers from math assignments, letters from countless reports, and a myriad of shapes from drawings. This table is covered with recordings of our past.

I have a hard time parting with these objects of sentimentality. Observe the the penny on my key chain, the lesson handout in my scripture case, the polished rock in my glove box, or the broken down go-kart under our deck. We've thought a few times about getting a new kitchen table. If and when we do, I think we will still find a place for that old table somewhere nearby.