It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Me, sentimental?

I am not a sentimental person. I don’t save many mementos and souvenirs. I don’t have overflowing folders of my children’s art work cluttering up my home. (And that’s a telling word, isn’t it? “Cluttering”, rather than, oh, “enriching”, or “filling me with happy memories of wonderful ages and stages”.) I rarely get weepy when a daycare child moves on.

But once in a while, I understand the urge. I get what drives it. Or perhaps this is only my version of the sentimental drive, I couldn’t say.

Exhibit One:

AKA “Fatfish”, the name carefully inscribed on the bottom of this little gem. What is it? Well, it’s a fat fish. A fat ceramic fish, made at a lovely local DIY ceramic place. What does it do? Collects dust, mostly. It’s hollow, and so too light to be a paperweight. What is it for?

GOD ONLY KNOWS. It’s a fat fish, people. Just a fat fish.

And it sits in a place of honour in my kitchen, because … because it was made for me, by one of my children. And I keep it because …

Not because it reminds me of her when she was a sweet and lovable 7-year-old. (Much like the charming and affectionate 19-y-o she now is.)

Not because I remember how she gave it to me, her blue eyes wide with love and excitement. Because I don’t remember, not at all. When did she give this to me? Was there an occasion? Was this a birthday gift? A Mother’s Day offering? Christmas? I have no idea.

No, I keep it because when I consider throwing it out … It’s as if that 7-year-old is standing right in front of me. I could no more toss this odd, sorta ugly, utterly useless fat fish than I could tear up a crayon scribble in front of the toddler who lovingly gave it to me. (Would I sneak their artwork into the recycling bin when they’re not looking? Absolutely. I do it every day, pretty near. Without a second’s hesitation, without a particle of remorse. Because I’m not sentimental.)


Throw out fatfish? It would hurt her feelings!

It wouldn’t, you know. My kids are about as sentimental as I am. “That weird old thing? You don’t need to keep it for my sake!” Because, see, she isn’t that 7-year-old any more. She doesn’t remember that seven-year-old, at least, not nearly as well as I do. She doesn’t feel the need to protect that little girl, because, for her, that little girl is ancient history. No longer exists, really.

Factually, that’s true, of course. But in my heart, that seven-year-old is alive and well … and gave me this beautifully hand-crafted piece of, er, art with all the love in her little-girl heart.

Looks like I’m stuck with the damned thing.

I couldn’t be happier.

How about you? Are you sentimental? Even if you’re not, is there a particular thing or two you couldn’t part with?

September 20, 2012 - Posted by | crafts, my kids | , ,


  1. Now my feelings are coming out of my eyeballs…

    We have an ugly wooden lighthouse for much the same reason. It was made at daycare for father’s day when H. was barely 3yo. It’s a weird muddy bluish-green because MIXING PAINT YAY. I know he doesn’t even remember it exists. And yet… there it sits, on the bookcase in my bedroom, collecting dust.

    Kids’ artwork though – I am merciless. “Oh, you made me *another* formless splotch of all the colours the teacher put out today? Thank you so much!” *smuggles out the door as quickly as possible*

    Comment by Hannah | September 20, 2012 | Reply

  2. We have a ceramic cat, also from a local DIY ceramic place. It started out a lovely cat and was carefully painted pink, with white flowers. But its eyes? She painted them red. And the paint dripped. And so now it’s a lovely, lovely pink ZOMBIE cat that bleeds from the eyes and freaks me out. And sits on our knick-knack shelf in the kitchen where I see it over and over again every day. I have no idea why I keep it. Except – she worked so hard on it…

    I even posted about it once upon a time and have a picture online –

    Comment by ktjrdn | September 20, 2012 | Reply

  3. I thought I was tough, but more has collected than I intended. Once I decided I’d go through it and toss anything that was missing a name or a date… or a memory. But I’d have to go through it. For some reason the 3D wood and clay stuff is harder than the 2D paintings, drawings etc.

    Comment by My Kids Mom | September 20, 2012 | Reply

  4. I admit, I keep stuff. School reports, scrap books from school… is all in my closet. I keep jewelry. I have framed “artwork” hanging throughout the house. I am not by nature a sentimental sort, but for some reason I am very attached to things my babies have made.

    Comment by Tammy | September 20, 2012 | Reply

  5. We have a small memory box for our girls, and really important things get put in there. First pair of shoes, naming day babygrow, first identifiable picture. Most pics, though, gostraight in the recycling as soon as they are complete – the paper recycling bin is next to the table where nearly-four year old draws. We have always talked about enjoying the process (“are you having fun”, “did you enjoy drawing that”) rather than the finished product, and she really isn’t fussed about the end result once she’s finished working on it, so there is a little production line straight into the bin!

    Comment by Angie | September 21, 2012 | Reply

  6. I have the world’s uglies blue and orange cupcake sitting on my desk for the same reason. The 4 year old who gave it to me has disappeared into a moody 8 year old.

    Most of the other stuff goes straight into the recycling bin. Or I’d have to buy another house just to store it in.

    Comment by brauersisters | September 23, 2012 | Reply

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