Pieces of Me

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So I hope you guys enjoyed the (motion sickness-inducing) home tour.  I've got a lot of plans for this place!

 So my mom decided a long time ago that in order to eliminate bickering between me and my brother over things when she's dead (which I don't see happening, because my brother has, like, zero interest in our family history), she would divvy up our inheritance stuff ahead of time.  She said she would give it to us when we moved out on our own (although I didn't get mine until we were about to move to Florida and had been married almost a year, but I'm not complaining).  When she gave it to me, I left it packed up since we were moving and didn't really have a place to put things yet, but even though I still don't really have anywhere to put the things, I went through the box the other day.

Before she gave it to me, I expected it to just be some things handed down through the family, and several of the items were (mostly handed down to her from her maternal grandmother).  It wasn't anything major (so don't try to burgle me expecting to find heirloom diamonds or anything), but they're cool things nonetheless.  My favorite family heirlooms are some sheets that my great-great-(great? I think) grandmother embroidered, and this, which I'm pretty sure was also hers:

Any guesses as to what it is?

It's an autograph book! She received it in 1886 and it's full of notes from her classmates students over a couple of years, like this one.

Her name was Elizabeth, but apparently she went by Lib, because that's who all the notes are addressed to.  Cool, huh?  I love old stuff.

But anyway, that's the kind of stuff I expected.  What I didn't expect was for my mom to have held on to so many of my baby/childhood belongings.  There were so many things she held on to, things I couldn't even remember.  It really meant a lot to me.  I've always been a...sentimental...girl.  I was the kid who held onto all her birthday cards for the past ten years.  I hated to throw away anything that held memories for me (in fact, I was 22 before I got rid of old notes from middle school and my freshman year).  I was labeled a pack rat, overly-sentimental.  Holding on to things wasn't something that was particularly encouraged in my dad's house.  So I'm very grateful that my mom held on to this stuff, because I didn't really expect to have childhood mementos outside of the baby book she had made me and the things I had kept myself.

She held on to stuffed animals.  The only one of these that was actually mine is the Baby Bop (I got it for my 5th birthday), but the others had sat on top of the armoire in my room. I know the Grimace and the Kewpie doll had been my mother's, but I'm pretty sure the cat, rabbit and raccoon are far older than either of us (I'm sure she'll let me know -- she does read this blog, after all). (And I was right -- she did.  The cat and raccoon were hers, but the rabbit was my grandma's).

I've had this bear for pretty much my entire life.  If I remember correctly from what my mom told me, my uncle Dale's boyfriend's sister made it for me (he's not actually my uncle, though I thought he was when I was a kid, but he might as well be.  He's probably more of a brother to my mom than her own brothers, and I've certainly spent more time with him than I have with my maternal uncles -- I've never even met one of them, and haven't seen the other in almost 20 years). It's not for playing, just looking pretty, but I've always thought it was neat.

She kept these awesome Happy Meal toys from when I was little, which absolutely tickled me.  They're like fast food Transformers.  The tall one folds down into a drink, while the little one is obviously a hamburger.  There's a Happy Meal box one too, but it's been in my purse because I like to play with it when I'm bored.

I've always been an avid reader, and when I was a kid I loved to read my mom's childhood books, like Snuggles and The boy who wouldn't eat his breakfast.  They're pretty opposite -- Snuggles eats too much and gets a tummyache, while Johnny doesn't eat breakfast and shrinks to be like two inches tall.

She kept a lot of baby mementos as well.

Handmade baby blankets (I don't remember who made them) (Mom to the rescue again!  My grandma Garnet made one -- the top one, I think, because my brother or sister has a similar one -- and my mom's best friend's mom made the other).

A handmade bib (made by my mom's friend Leigh)

This is a sock my mom wore in the hospital when she was in labor.  It's kind of random, but still oddly touching (I have lots of hormones, so everything sets me off in one way or another).

My baby shoes.  I'm glad she didn't have them bronzed.  I've always thought that was kind of weird.  And maybe a little tacky.  But don't worry, if you bronzed your kids' shoes, I don't automatically think you're weird and tacky.  I'm sure a lot of people probably find me weird and tacky.

When I was little, I thought having a spoon with my name on it made me super special (of course, I also thought my color-change Trix spoon -- which my grandma still has, and I still used when I lived with her -- made me super special).  I also thought the picture of the Gerber baby on the end was a picture of me.

My grandma Garnet, my dad's maternal grandma, made these for me.  I can't wait to have a baby of my own to put them on (which obviously won't be any time soon, since I have no working ovaries, but still).  It will mean a lot to me, but I think it would mean a lot to my Granny too (heck, I'm sure it will probably mean a lot just knowing that my mom saved them all these years).

My mom also kept some clothes I never expected to see again (some of which I had completely forgotten about).

I wore this clown outfit at my first birthday.  I had three outfit changes at one party (yeah, I'm that awesome).  I had a little matching clown doll I carried with me.

me, age 1
I wore this little blue dress for Christmas when I was two.  I have a picture of me wearing it (and looking adorable, I might add) with my cousin Chelsie in her pink footie jammies, but I can't find the power cord for the printer/scanner, so I can't put it up.  I always loved this little dress (I wanted to wear it long after I outgrew it), and it's still in excellent condition.

I'll admit, I had completely forgotten about this vest.  It was Tom's favorite thing in the box (big surprise, right?).  It's pretty epic.

I don't remember why I made this shirt.  It could have been for school, or Girl Scouts, or just for fun (my mom did a lot of activities with us when we were little).  Whatever it was for, I was obviously  into Winnie-the-Pooh.  And apparently I was going to have a t-shirt business called Bright Ideas, Inc.?

My mom made this necklace for me when I was little.

I was surprised to find these packages.  They contain curtains my mom made for my room when I was little.

This is a ribbon from some of my grandpa's memorial flowers.  He died a few months before I turned seven.  No death has ever been harder on me.  He and I were extremely close.

I think the most surprising things my mom kept were various Mother's Day cards, report cards and other silly little things I had given her.  I guess she didn't find them as silly.

On the left is a mother's day note card I made for her, probably around first grade judging from the handwriting.  Maybe kindergarten.  On the right is a card I bought for her with my allowance around 8th or 9th grade, I think (she's a big Peanuts fan -- the Thanksgiving special is her favorite; she loves that Snoopy makes toast and popcorn for dinner).  The second note on the card is me apologizing for the fact that my brother couldn't tear himself away from The Fairly Oddparents long enough to sign it.  That would probably still be true now, but you'd just replace the cartoon with an Xbox game.

Here are more various Mother's Day cards I made for her over the years (I love the one made from the giant placemat doily).  The picture on the left is a copy I did of a childhood photograph of my mom.  I was so pleased with myself (the art gene skipped a generation on both sides...I'm hopeless at drawing, but both my parents are great). I was in elementary school, probably nine or so.

A report card and a letter I wrote to my mom and Josh (my stepdad).  We wrote a letter as a class assignment once (I'm pretty sure it was 3rd grade), and my teacher mailed them.  I wanted to write a letter to my mom, so I did (I saw my mom every other weekend, so was always eager for communication with her).

I guess the whole point of this is that I'm really grateful that my mom saved all these things.  It means a lot to me that I have all these little pieces of my past to one day share with my children.  I want to be the kind of mom who saves these things too.

I love you mama :)

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  1. I love this post! Its great that you have those things to remember your past with.

    1. Thank you, and agreed! It really means a lot to me that I have these things.

  2. How sweet is this! Just some info on this stuff. The autograph book was my great great grandmother's, Elizabeth (Lib) Oneth Adamson. She was a school teacher, and the autographs are from her students-many of whom are ancestors of many people still in Middletown. Btw, my great grandmother and grandmother were also teachers, so its in your blood. The rabbit was my mother's, and the others were mine. Raccy (the raccoon) was my childhood fave. I think mom has a pic of me as a newborn with the cat. The baby blankets were made by your grandma Garnet and Vette's mom, Debbie Luyet. The bib was made when you were born by Leigh Cannon McCullough.

  3. Wow.

    You are simply amazing my dear sweet Alex. I knew the day you were born you were destined to do great things. I am so proud that you are YOU! and your Mama; the keeper of all things great about our history and past - has passed these treasures to you. I am grateful to be your Uncle Dale!

  4. I love this kind of stuff, too. :-D It's so fun going through old things that you either didn't know existed or completely forgot about. Great post!



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