I had to put aside all the tasks I thought I would accomplish today when I realized it was already August and I hadn't completed one of the most important ones...finalizing my daughter's School Years portfolio.
Before my children were old enough to even begin school I had bought both of them one of these School Years books from some mail order catalogue. Each year, starting from Pre-School all the way through High School, the book is a memory-keeper of sorts.
At the end of each school year, the kids and I would sit down and fill out all the info...school name, age, height, weight, friends, activities, achievements, awards, etc. Each year has a pocket where important papers, photos, newspaper clippings, report cards, etc. can be placed in the envelope, along with a photo from that year. As you can see my daughter's book is stuffed to the brim!
One of my favorite things is reading the "When I Grow Up I Want To Be..." section each year up until sixth grade. My daughter has "wanted to be" a ballerina, school teacher, singer, mother, model, artist, pianist, secretary, and fashion designer.
Before she went to work today at a position that wasn't one listed in the book, I asked her if she wouldn't mind filling out her high school page. She didn't roll her eyes at me or sigh. She did it gladly. When she goes on her own, I will keep the book, until she wants it. Maybe one day she can sit down with her kids and go through it. And then hopefully she will begin one for them as well.
I have nothing like this from my childhood. Although, after my father died I did find one short story I wrote when I was in school called "Golden Tuna." I received an "A" and I remember the nun who read the mystery said to the class that one day I would be a famous writer. Well that doesn't mean as much to me as the discovery that my father kept it all those years with his papers. When I found it, not only did it bring tears to my eyes, but it lit the spark in me to get back to writing, and when I thought I could go on no more telling my story, my dad's gesture kept me going.
If there's one thing I could impart to new mothers it would be to take an interest in your children's education and talents. Maybe you don't have to keep every drawing or poem they write, but do keep some. If you show them you care about their future they will take it seriously. And then one day, when they discover all you kept from them, for them, they will thank you.