18 September 2014

The ephemera collection begins

In general, I’m not a particularly sentimental person. I condensed all my mementos from high school and college into a single shoebox and tossed everything else years ago. I opted for a brand-new cake on our wedding anniversary over saving cake from the actual event. And I keep telling my mother to yes, please, go ahead and get rid of my childhood toys already... and clothes.... and art projects... and all those other things I 100% do not need. I usually don’t find nostalgia in tangible objects, so I’m quick to throw them out.

That said: I am afraid this baby is causing a noticeable shift in my sentimentality. It started when I left the first positive pregnancy test sitting on the bathroom counter for a few days, despite the fact that it was something I had peed on. I mean, I have never before (and hopefully never again) saved something onto which I voluntarily emitted bodily fluids. That is weird and disgusting and embarrassing. I finally threw it out, but only after reasoning I could always, you know, pee on another stick if I really wanted a positive pregnancy test laying around. It’s like a party trick!

Since then, I’ve tried to keep a level head about what to keep and what to throw out. Ultrasound photos? Obviously keepers. Greeting cards filled with congratulations, or the invitation to our baby shower? Makes sense to keep those, I guess. Wrappers from the “It’s a Boy!” chocolate cigars received from the family, or the dried-out dead flowers sent from the excited grandparents? That... is probably stretching it a bit.

So I had to do something about this urge to save every bit of pregnancy-related ephemera. My solution wasn’t the most novel idea in the world: I needed to start a scrapbook! And to keep it easy, I just grabbed this three-ring binder and sticky sheets from Target.

It’s basic, but it’s so easy to stash those seemingly precious mementos without any fuss.

(In case you’re wondering, yes, I also digitally scanned our ultrasound photos, since the paper can fade terribly over time!)

But here’s how I compromised with my ambivalent self over keeping things that, to anyone else, would absolutely be trash: I took photos of them. I ordered prints online, and stuck the in the appropriate spot! So now, rather than trying to keep crumbly dead flowers around, I have a photo of the beautiful bouquet sent by Mr. P’s parents alongside the card from the florist.

When my friends sent Baby P an enormous book collection, I texted them a photo of the gift after we opened it. So, that photo went alongside the card tucked in the package. I did this with several presents we’ve already received.

And other quick snaps of moments along this pregnancy can be tucked in with related ephemera.

No, it’s not a fancy printed book – it’s pretty much the most basic scrapbook ever, like from the time before scrapboooking was a thing. So retro! But it gives me an easy place to stash random baby-related mementos without guilt of being pack-ratty. If I really really really can’t throw something away, I just take a photo of it, knowing I can put that photo in here. Or... I’ll get over it and not bother. Both of those options are totally okay. Whereas keeping sentimental clutter on the kitchen table indefinitely is not.

I fear that sentimentality will creep up on me even more after this kid is here, so it feels good to get a jump start on sorting these things out now!


Janice said...

Make sure your sticky pages are acid free or over the years, it will damage pictures and papers you have put in the box (voice of experience here).

Great to get a handle on this now because you are right, it's going to increase as Baby P gets closer to arrival and then is actually here :)