In the corner of our basement office lived my dirty little secret. There was a giant pile of Jacob's artwork, dating back to when he was six months old. Mixed in were cards from birthdays and other various keepsakes that I didn't have a spot for yet. Once Carter was born, some of his keepsakes ended up there, as well, and then his artwork started rolling in, too! Before I knew it, it was out of control.
More than three years ago I started trying to sort through it. When Craig went to the Czech Republic for 10 days, I had evenings to play with and I gave it a shot. My plan was to take pictures of everything, ditch the easy stuff, and keep anything (for now) that I thought was cool. Well...I only got through 32 pictures or so (probably averaging about four pieces each) before I ran out of time, and there everything sat for three more years, with the pile getting bigger and toppling over from time to time. And it drove me nuts.
But I needed time to work on it, and it never happened when I wanted it to a couple times earlier this year. But yesterday when I was home alone I got going. It took me most of the day, and some time tonight, but I have finally conquered the giant pile. All of Carter's stuff is set aside in a bin for him. I do still need to sort through it and start photographing his stuff, but there's less of that so I know I can manage it. Jacob's stuff was intimidating, but I got through it, one piece at a time. It was fun to relive the journey through daycare and his first year of school through his artwork. I wish I would have been better about documenting what was from when, but I can sort of guess based on stuff that was grouped together or what he was drawing at the time, or even by the handwriting from his teachers. His skill level picked up considerably when he was four, so that cleared some things up, too.
All in all it took 95 pictures to capture all of the artwork. Two garbage bags' worth of that has been dispatched. I kept a small pile of his work, as well as another pile of abstract art that I want for our easy-change picture frames in the living room. The pieces I kept of Jacob's ranged from early finger paints to random projects that turned out cute, and on to some typical drawings of sports fields that became the norm in the past couple years. I also kept a lot of his Kindergarten writing--little books and his classroom journals. Someday maybe those will go, but I can't go through them just yet.
Here's a sampling...
It's nice to have it documented, and even nicer to have it sorted and most of it on its way out of the house. It's wonderful to think of how Jacob has progressed over the years and see all of the things he's learned about and illustrated in his crafts, but I know there's much more to come. And we'll get to go through it all again with Carter, too. Let's just hope I can keep up with it better this time around!