Paper Trail :)
A funny thing is I just sat down with a pen and paper a minute ago trying to figure out what it was I was going to write about today. I had a fleeting idea, but I wanted to get some chores done first, then when I decided, "this is going to be a while I better write that down" The idea whoooshed out of my brain. So, not one to give up on an idea I found a scrap of blank paper and a pen anyway and just wrote what popped into my mind that wasn't my idea. On the paper I wrote:
Aha!!! It struck me! (I thought this was cool, because I did not know it would work) Earlier today, as I was cleaning off a flat surface in my kitchen of the familial rubble that piles up there, I planned to perhaps write about the paperwork dilemma. If I thought junkmail and the paper burden was a problem before I had kids, I was not even in the slightest bit prepared for the onslaught of paperwork that is dumped out of the backpacks of three kids attending different schools. I had no idea that such piles of paperwork had the capability to bury even my thoughts and ideas so that I would have to find a quiet place to pull them out as I did today with my pen and paper experiment.
The beginning of the year is the worst, as you could probably guess, because the school actually expects you to look at everything, read, gather info, sign, return x 3 and every school has different forms for the same stuff so I can't just copy one and be on my way. To be sure my kids start school off on the right "foot", I have to make note of phys ed and dance days, (and other movement oriented days that I always mess up the names of and am sure to have my kids correct me), and on which day of the week they fall for each child. I pin up the lunch menus, which the kids never need unless I throw them away. I post the school calendars and try to figure out if any of our days off synchronize, rarely.
Then, there's the kids' work that comes home. . . Don't get me wrong, I love to see what my kids are doing at school, check out their writing, see their artwork, and all, but then what? I usually choose a few things to hang for too long on the fridge or tack board, striking artwork or other cool stuff goes into my cellar stairway ie. shrine to my kids. (pics below) But let's be honest folks, there is a lot of crap that comes home. Piles of worksheets with nouns circled and mad minute math fact sheets, blah! So for those things I do not deem worthy of long term visiblity, I leave in a pile somewhere until I can sneak it into the recycling or the wood furnace without one or more children noticing and guilting me with the looks of shock, horror, disappointment, and lagging self esteem that result when they realize I do not keep every scrap of paper that falls out of their backpacks.
I take some strength from a friend who refuses to keep all that stuff. But I haven't mastered the ruthless toss. I balance it with trying to keep some of it, a few choice things. I know that my way is more exhausting though. Now, in the age of pinterest, the process of deciding is even more excruciating because I feel inclined to keep every finger or toeprint project that comes through the front door, and damned if they don't have a bazillion (is that even a number??) different ideas for fingers, toes, and paint!!!
On a side note, writing this was a lovely distraction from sorting and "filing" the endless paperwork, thanks for reading :)