Though I hardly portray myself as a perfect mother, I do think I am a half-way decent one. Not the best ever, but certainly not the worst. I mean, there have got to be worst ones out there. (I do watch reality television, and all.) But, there is a moment, each afternoon, where I do feel like a pretty crappy one.
Each and every day, I open up the kids’ backpacks to find their folders. Inside their folders, I find at least a dozen pieces of paper. Each and every day. Lily’s are mostly worksheets and math problems. The boys’ are filled with finger paintings, scribbles and cut-outs of various colors of construction paper. Every day, more and more paper. Every damn day.
So, I do what any other mildly crappy mother does: I chuck ’em.
I wasn’t always this way. For a while, I kept everything for a week or two and would then weed out “the good stuff” to save and stuff in boxes under the bed. Well, after a few years of that, I’ve realized that there is little good stuff. It’s all pretty much junk. Sure, I may ohhh and ahhh when they’re looking, but after they’re in bed, off to the recycling bin I sneak.
Evan’s art is either a complete mess, or a masterpiece by his teacher. Honestly, I’m torn on which I appreciate more. Ben’s named spelled backwards is adorable, but six dozen times? It loses its charm. And worksheets? Please. Am I the only one who doesn’t find fill-in the blanks endearing?
I’m not completely heartless. There was the coaster thingy from Evan that I just couldn’t bring myself to throw away because it said “I love you, Mommy” on it. Ben did create some dinosaur creation that was… interesting and Lily’s doodles on her word problems can be really sweet. But who has room for every last piece?
Besides, the real masterpieces are created at home. Where I can direct.