I returned from a marvelous writing retreat at the Highlights Foundation last night to a sick child. As soon as I heard her wet cough and looked at her red-rimmed eyes, I knew I had to cancel the school visit I was planning for today. While I kept thinking that “reality bites,” my most important job is Mom. So here we are, at home, exhausted (because I slept with her since she was coughing a lot last night) at 10 a.m. on a Monday. We’re just biding our time awaiting her 3:30 p.m. doctor’s appointment so we can figure out what’s really wrong.
With nothing much on the docket for the day, I decided it was time to hang up some of Isabelle’s preschool artwork. Let me admit to something my mother thinks is quite terrible. I throw out a lot of Isabelle’s artwork. (There. I said it. In a public forum.) You know why? There’s SO much of it. I cannot save it all. There are a few pieces I save in a keepsake container in our basement, but the sheer volume of it is too much to physically store.
Just so you don’t think I’m a completely horrible person, know that I take photos of the things I toss and save it in an Evernote notebook. See:
This morning I decided it was time to STOP letting the artwork pile up. So I asked Isabelle, “Would you like to help me display your artwork in the garage?”
“In da gawaj?” she asked.
“Yes, on the walls of the garage. This way you can see your works of art every day when we come and go from the house.”
She considered it. “Okay! I’ll help you!”
“Put on some shoes,” I commanded.
“Can I weah silwuh shoes?” (Silver shoes are her part of the signature look she’s created for herself.)
“Sure, you can wear your silver shoes into the garage.”
And so she did.
We spent the next 20 minutes creating a gallery of her work. From the life-size Isabellsaurus she created with her teacher during their class’s dinosaur unit to the paintings she creates on the easel to a glittery skull she made at Halloween, it’s all up on our garage walls. She helped me hold the paper straight while I placed the tape loops behind the artwork. She helped me choose the places where each piece would hang on the wall. She brought some of her stuffed animals out to the garage so they could admire her work on the gallery.
When we were finished, I asked her what she thought.
“I love it!” she responded.
“Would you like to hang more of your artwork in this garage gallery as you bring it home from school?”
Her face lit up. “Yes!”
So apparently, the garage gallery will be a compromise, of sorts, for us going-forward. It’ll be a place for Isabelle to proudly display her preschool artwork. And it’ll be in a place I can both live with (i.e., not on the walls of our home) and not feel guilty about (i.e., by tossing). I think this garage gallery will be a win-win, don’t you?