Each saved item is a memory revisited.
Mama loves her keepsakes, and we do too. That’s why, when we set off for college, careers, and began to start our own families, our mamas couldn’t clean out our childhood bedrooms—at least, not totally. Don’t get us wrong; we’re glad that old makeup, posters of teenage heartthrobs, and participation trophies were tossed long ago. While our mamas may not have preserved our childhood bedrooms in amber, there are a few things that they haven’t thrown away, and we appreciate that more than they know. We’re glad these things are just a quick phone call—and a short drive to Mama’s—away.
It’s probably best to toss the stuffed animals (those may as well come with expiration dates), but some children’s toys last for years, becoming heirlooms in the process. It’s lovely that Mama keeps them, because the next generation of kids will enjoy playing with them one day.
Most of us already appreciate the fact that children’s books aren’t just for children. Adults can benefit from revisiting the books of their youth—and the lessons found within—so when Mama keeps the kids’ books for us, we know why. Thanks to her, we have a precious, time-tested library to browse and pass on to our little ones.
Hear us out. The first rule of fashion is that what’s old inevitably becomes new again. When those retro designs from your teen years come back into fashion, you’ll thank Mama for keeping them. And you’ll be able to skip a shopping trip, because you’ve been through the trends before.
It is such a trip to read through old diaries, remembering people and places that were such a big deal to you decades ago. You grow up, move away, and forget, but childhood journals and diaries are a time-traveling shortcut to memories that have been heretofore lost to the sands of time.
Binders, notes, books, notebooks—at the end of the year, those lovingly purchased school supplies go into a box, never to be seen again. They may seem like they need to be thrown out, but think of it: You went to school, years and years of it, but how much have you retained? All of that information is not lost forever. You can revisit and reabsorb all of it through your old notes…and it’s always a hoot to see the absentminded doodles in the margins of crinkled sheets of notebook paper.
Baseball Cards and Sports Paraphernalia
You knew they’d be worth something one day—the cards, not your old football gear. Even if the cards haven’t appreciated, they remain full of memories. Mama also has a reason to keep the old footballs, basketballs, and jerseys. She knows that when everyone arrives for the holidays, it’s time to unbox all the sports stuff to play in the yard with aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews.
Anything with handwriting from loved ones is special. Mama knows that, which is why she keeps all the birthday cards, holiday cards, and greeting cards from time immemorial. And that’s the real reason why she preserves your childhood stuff—to keep the memories, and you, close.
What are you glad that your mama kept from your childhood bedroom and passed on to you? Is there anything you’re glad she tossed?