My daughter keeps something hidden in her closet she calls her Special Box. She likes to pull this red, heart-covered box out, sit on her bed, and look through all the things she has carefully placed inside that are important to her. Among the items in her box are a broken sun silly band, a Princess goodie bag from a friend’s party, a wrist band from her stay at Great Wolf Lodge, a piece of cotton she collected on a field trip, rocks, and a snail shell. At first, these things seemed worthless to me, and I sometimes wonder why she keeps things I might consider trash (a broken silly band?).
However, I have learned that these things are special to her because of the fact that each one holds a special memory for her. The Princess goodie bag was from a four year old’s birthday party. Lindsay was invited because the birthday girl absolutely adores Lindsay and had to have her at the party. The party, back in January, happened to fall on a Saturday that we had a winter storm with snow and ice. Even though the party was in our neighborhood, we could not drive to the friend’s house because they lived down a steep hill at the bottom of a cul-de-sac. So Brad and I packed the kids onto our sled and pulled them to the party. It was a dangerous trek, even on foot, going down the hill, but it made a memory for Lindsay! After the party, the dads took the kids outside to sled down that monster hill and we ending up staying for dinner. It was a fun day, and the goodie bag is a memory of that time.
Last December, Lindsay spent the night at Great Wolf Lodge with her best friend who was celebrating her birthday. Lindsay and Claire have known each other since Lindsay was six months old, and their friendship is so special! The wrist band is a memory of that fun time with a friend!
The cotton she collected reminds her of a fun day at historic Brattonsville Plantation. She remembers the sweetest cat who laid around the cotton demonstration area, making a bed in the cotton! That’s a cat for you, but it was fun for Lindsay. The rocks and shells are special to her because of where she found them or who gave them to her.
Encourage your children to keep collections. I keep the ticket stubs from all the places the kids have been (zoos, Biltmore House, professional sports games, museums, etc.). I also have a special keepsake box for each of my children where I have stored precious items from their babyhood (Lindsay’s bonnet, first lock of hair, teeth, booties, certificates). Collections are fun because of the memories they hold!
I have learned to treasure what my children treasure! I still need to find out what memory that broken silly band has!