Thursday, June 3, 2010

Plastic Bins, Crayons and Report Cards

We are elbow deep in dozens of over-sized storage bins. You know the ones. Clear plastic with red or blue hinged tops. Bigger than a breadbox. Heavy with books. All kinds.

The requisite text books highlighted yellow saved for the day that never arrives when we need to look up an algebra formula, a Latin declension, a single date in history that seems the pivotal point setting in motion a series of seemingly unrelated events. Children's stories in large typeface with less than ten words to a page. Smudged with peanut butter fingers and drips of chocolate milk. Read, reread, treasured. Classic literature of adventures on stormy seas inhabited by pirates, mermaids, explorers. Edgy historical writing from across the centuries, spanning the globe. We are readers. Voracious ones. Unable to relinquish, even for the sake of coveted space, our somewhat mildewy, dogeared riches.

Some are piled heavy with multi-colored spiral wide-ruled notebooks from middle school classes which ignited his passion for learning. Excelling. Planting the embryonic seeds that would flower into thousands of delicate blossoms to be explored, evaluated, questioned. Giving birth to his love for scholarly pursuits. History lessons. Sloppy copies of essays that were perfected over and over again until the words flowed just so. Impeccably chosen. Nuanced. Presaging the direction of his studies.

Kraft paper grocery bags litter the floor in haphazard piles. Half filled. Strewn about in some modicum of order. The bins teeter heavy on the wooden pallets that keep these curious boxes above the rivulets that stream across the cracked 160 years cellar floor when the spring Nor'easter blown furious and rain pelts our village neighborhood dumping inches. The nearby Mousam River overflowing its curvy, tree lined banks.

So we have been here for days. In the damp basement. Not making one iota of a dent. Not even a teeny one. Too many delicious memories to contemplate, ruminate and celebrate. One bittersweet moment at a time. It is a slow process. Revisiting the years that flew by all too quickly. Leaving an indelible imprint in my mind's eye. Swirling with sepia-edged visions of my young son evolving at warp speed into the charming man he is becoming. Souvenirs of his magical childhood. Precious. Beloved. Ephemeral.

May this improbable task take forever. My memories, our memories, framed in a most delectable album in my mind's eye to be retained, recalled, revisited cherished for a lifetime.

Cheers to our life well-lived!


  1. Oh my, I've just spent weeks sifting through the third floor, condensing all the odds and bits to a single room; clearing the way for a library and guest room. The hours I spent over finger paintings and first, notes--even letters to the tooth fairy explaining how someone ate their tooth.... Such memories. Thank you for reminding me how quickly it's going....

  2. Chantal, this is a most daunting task consolidating our little ones lives long after they have shed their baby teeth! Remarkable, indeed. So glad it touched a chord. Cheers to the fleeting universality of parenthood.