Andrew got his first medal this week after his band concert for a superior rating at Solo & Ensemble Festival. I had been meaning to pull my medals out and show him what his Mama used to do, so I decided to just do it tonight.
Chris and I put all of our keepsakes into Rubbermaid tubs and chucked them in our utility room when we moved into this house some six years ago. The utility room is basically an attached shed, so I have ever since been worried about the condition of our keepsakes and such. Bugs and mold and stuff really like the climate here.
Of course, my box was the last one in the row on the bottom, back corner. It was also the biggest and heaviest in spite of the fact that I have gone through purging phases over the years and cleaned out/thrown away many of my "keepsakes." The molded-sugar Chuck E Cheese from my 8th birthday cake? That one was finally discarded during our move here six years ago. One time, I detached all the space-wasting tops of my trophies and awards, which makes them easier to pack away and still preserves the bar across the base that describes what the trophy is for.
We sifted through the evidence of vermin, the moldy band t-shirts and mildewed photos and I found lots of wonderful things. Certainly, the elements did eat away at my special things, but most of it is fine. I found photos of boys I knew and a 7-page Valentine's Day letter from a precious(male) friend professing his love for me in the 10th grade without actually saying it directly. I remember my heart beating terribly as I read it, knowing that everything about our friendship would now change with this bold advance. I remember the heartache of trying to find a way to let down his hopes without acknowledging that they'd been actually communicated to me. The good news? We're still friends. Still. However it is I responded must have been sufficient.
I found my 9th grade boyfriend's jacket. He wore a bullet on a chain around his neck and I thought it made him look awfully dangerous. He still does look kind of dangerous, actually. He might really be kind of dangerous, actually. There was also an article in the paper, maybe five or seven years ago, about his artistic, unique. I saved it in the box with the jacket he let me keep. It's acid-washed denim and covered with air force patches.
I found my medals and the adjudication sheet from my first solo and shared that with Andrew. He was impressed. I had lots of them.
I'd like to think we made a connection on a deep-below-the-surface level over that. Maybe even something that will help carry us through the difficult teen years that are just ahead. Maybe it's some basic knowledge that his mom was a little bit like him once - taking home every trophy and ribbon available and tucking away every scrap of paper, deeming each bit important enough to preserve.
Tonight I'm really glad I saved so much of it.
Daily Bliss: coconut milk "ice cream" delicious and dairy-free! happiness!
Wake-up Playlist: Jon Foreman Your Love Is Strong