As a girl, I loved venturing into my grandparent’s huge east coast basement. Newspapers exposed me to current events, I shopped amongst the canned goods, invented new uses for broken machines, or read years of Good Housekeeping! I knew my grandmother and mother in the roles they fulfilled for me, but the basement gave me insight on what their lives entailed. I felt well prepared reading the monthly GH column “My Problem and How I Solved It.”
Knowing how hungrily I sifted through the past inspired me to save some things to share with my children. I limit myself to one hope chest (not counting photos – stored elsewhere) and there’s room for more. One of my 101 goals in 1,001 days involved sharing my treasure chest with my children.
As the chest opened, my kids gasped at the colorful possibilities! We started with publications from significant events that have happened since I started my collection.
Some events affected me more than others.
For the most part I’ve collected items since the late 80’s. Every now and then at used bookstores or libraries I’ll find old magazines to put aside, or some life events warrant anniversary editions. Not only do the articles provide amazing information, the advertisements provide great laughs!
I include some mementos from previous employers – I’ve sold off or given away anything collectable. I used to hope my kids would become rich by eBaying it all, then I decided I should handle it rather than burden them.
Then we got into some of my childhood memories. For the first time I looked at my baby doll like the ancient relic that my children saw her as – or perhaps saw me as.
I shared obituaries of my grandparents, whom they never met. I displayed college diplomas to “I climbed the Great Wall of China” certificates. My son salivated, commandeering my Checkpoint Charlie tee-shirt. My daughter tried figuring out which old yearbook photos showed my sisters and I. I wracked my brain for anything unacceptable inscribed in its pages.
I loved seeing them enjoy open access to my childhood and they loved seeing that I did more with my life before I went to Mommy University.