Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Scribble Scrabble

I can't seem to forgive myself for something. I've lost something, or, to be honest, thrown away something, and I cannot get it back. Ever. It is so silly, but to me it means so much.

I can't remember the date, but I know it was early in the fall because Joshua was sitting at the bar doing homework. And, they quit sending the kindergartners home with homework in September due to a paper conservation effort. (Yay for us!:-)) Anyway, JCT was sitting beside his big brother. Joshua was doing a writing assignment with a #2 pencil, so I gave JCT a pencil to doodle with and a piece of white paper. There they sat working feverishly while I made dinner glancing at Joshua's work every now and then. JCT was doing what we at our home call "scribble scrabble" ~ just wild scribbling. But, all of the sudden he stopped and proudly held his paper up for me to see. "Look, Mama!" I glanced up, saw some scribble scrabble, and said, "Yes, very nice," and continued on with my dinner preps. But, he was insistent, "No, Mama! Look! J. . .C. . .T!! I wrote my name!"

Now that got my attention, so I stopped what I was doing and took his sweet little paper in my hands. And, sure enough scattered amongst the scribble was a J. . . a backwards C. . . and a T. I squealed and jumped up and down! I had not taught him how to make those letters, or any letters for that matter. With Joshua I started working on all that very early, but with JCT my hands had been full, and I let all that slide a bit. But, watching his big brother, he figured it out himself. I dated the paper, and stuck it in my drawer. . .

Then, last night I went to a Southern Living party at a friend's house, and I told JCT's story in response to a question a friend asked me. I had completely forgotten about the incident until my sweet friend asked me about JCT's writing ability.
So, when I got home, I immediately began searching for the paper. I could see it in my head, and my hands desperately wanted to hold it. I looked through my drawer. . . not there. I looked through my scrapbooking armoire. . . not there. I looked through the papers in the utility room. . . not there. I looked through the bin of his preschool work. . . not there. I looked through a little box of Joshua's artwork ~ just in case I stuck it in there. . . millions of Joshua's 3 year old drawings of Bob and Larry but no J. . .C. . .T. Erik could sense that I was getting increasingly panicky, so he started helping me search. But, there was nothing that anyone could do. It was gone. Most likely, months ago I looked at the precious paper, saw only the scribble scrabble, and threw it in the trash. A memory ~ now gone forever. I was crushed. . .

I can't believe that in my neurotic need to throw away paper and clutter I threw away my baby's special paper. I think I was so upset partly because I lost his special paper, and partly because in some way it symbolizes him to me. And, I felt that I had cheated him, slighted him, let him down. I wanted to run upstairs and hold him and tell him that I love him and kiss him and hug him and push the hair out of his eyes and make him look at me and tell his sweet green eyes that I treasure him, really I do, even if I don't have 6,000 of his drawings safely kept like I do his big brother's. My heart hurt. Badly.
I thought about having him do it again, but I would know the truth. As I searched frantically for his paper, I did find this one from the middle of the school year, and I guess it will have to suffice. . .

At least his "C" is still backward. I thought I'd never get the darling boy to make his "C" the right way! But, last night as I was searching desperately, I would have done just about anything to see one of those silly backward C's that I worked so hard to correct. I'm just thankful that I found this one even if it isn't "the one."

So, if it is possible for this guilt-ridden mama to take something, anything, positive away from this situation, then this is it. . .

Keep it. If there is a question in my mind, I'll choose to keep it. And, I am going to Wal-Mart very soon to buy four large notebooks and plastic page protectors, and I am going to begin putting papers in them faithfully. My boys love to color, and they always have a story to tell that goes along with their picture. I want to be faithful to write down those stories and keep those sweet papers. I always imagine myself old and gray looking back at all those precious memories with a little tear in my eye and a heart full of praise to the sweet God who gave these little ones to me. I am so thankful to be a part of their lives.
And, I guess, I should, as well, take away from this one other challenge. And that is the challenge to slow down and take my sweet time. If I had not been in such a frantic hurry (a state I live a lot of my life in), then I would have noticed the J. . .backward C. . . T on the paper instead of just noticing the scribble scrabble. Every now and then I need a little reminder to slow down and breathe. Another lesson for me to live in the moment instead of always being a hurry to get to the next thing on my to do list.


Amy said...

You poor, sweet thing! I empathize with you because I know that is exactly how I would feel in that situation. You do have that sweet memory of him, and now it is documented for him to read when he gets older. He will know how much he was treasured.

I love to scrapbook. Friends and family tend to tease me about all of the scrapbooks I make - the time it takes and the thousands of photos over just a few short years. But I just know that I will treasure each of those photos and pieces of artwork when my house is too quiet and my arms are empty.

And, my daughter writes her name with a backwards "y." I love it. I haven't corrected her yet, but I will this summer before she moves on to Pre-K. It's too precious to lose just quite yet.

JCB said...

Such a "mom" thing! I understand how you feel! The first time I saw a smiley face that my daughter (now six) had drawn, I nearly cried with the joy of it. (She has such a different way of making those faces!) They grow up so fast! Thank you for the post and the message.

I realize that we have never met, but our husbands were classmates in high school, and I have been following the progress of your in-laws healing. They have been in our prayers.

Jenny Bowers

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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