My daughter is a brilliant artist. She should be on the Next Great Artist show for the amount of quality pieces she cranks out. She can sit for hours uninterrupted and cut and paste an amazing masterpiece. I LOVE it. As an art teacher who taught little kids to high school kids I can see the massive energy of imagination working in her. The problem is, she has inherited my artistic pack ratness. The aftermath of her creative time is mired in scraps of paper that seemingly to me hold no importance but when I try to clean up and she see a scrap in the recycling she freaks out! My wife plays dumb when she is caught and says "Oh, I didn't know you needed that, sorry" and secretly laughs to herself for the other fifty pieces she buried under last night's chicken.
There is obviously a stealth in this that I have not mastered yet. I get it. I keep EVERYTHING. You never know when you are going to need that right? It is a hard habit to break. The problem is, and we all know this, is that you can't keep every little cute thing they make. You should however keep certain things, like notes that they write to you, their first report card, and creative moments that are just too sweet to throw away. My wife is more calculating and I am more of a sentimental sap so it is hard for me to say goodbye to some of these things. We already have a plastic bin full of Adam's firsts and it makes sense to me that hey, I better ween some of these things out because he is only in 1st grade! His first grade math homework I will pass on but the note saying "Dear Daddy, You are a great Dad. Keep up the good work. Love, Adam" is something I will cherish forever.