Monday, December 10, 2012

Favorite things 5: Kid art as decorations.

I love having kids in elementary school. I love the art projects they bring home complete with glitter and handprints and the smell of Elmers glue. (These kids are lucky - we always had to use paste when I was a kid. Blech - I still remember how much I hated getting my fingers sticky with paste. Just the mention of paste and I am sitting again in my kindergarten classroom, admiring Caleb S. who ate paste, among other things. But I digress.)

One of my favorite things to do for the past three Christmases has been to decorate the tile that goes around our fireplace. I've saved the art projects Ben and Thomas have done each year and I hang them up. Seeing their efforts warms my heart.

But my favorite are the wreaths they made in preschool the year they were three (2004 for Thomas, 2008 for Ben.) Their teacher did the same craft year after year - a green wreath decorated with 5 or 6 white handprints and a poem: This will help you remember when I have grown quite tall, that I once was very little and my hands were very small. I love those hand prints. I've considered cutting the wreaths apart and making their hand prints into ornaments of some sort but I just can't bring myself to do it. They are faded and the backs are covered in tape, but I will hang them up year in and year out as long as I can. The evidence of their once smallness is bittersweet. It makes me remember when they needed me in such powerful ways. I miss being needed like that.