We are having some renovations done to our home to accommodate my disability and the wheelchair. Adam has begun the tedious process of moving "stuff". We have a lot of "stuff".
Adam ventured into the basement and brought up the empty storage containers with the lime green lids. These are the containers I use to pack up my classroom at the end of the school year. After I unpack the containers and set up my classroom at the beginning of the school year, I bring the containers home to my basement until they are needed again. Since we only need them to store "stuff" for a few weeks, he began to pack them up.
I watched Adam put our home items in the containers, thinking about all the times I had put my classroom - my second home - into those same bins.
Then I began thinking about how at the end of this school year would be the last time I pack up my classroom.
Then I thought why would I need all those things anymore. I will just donate them all to the next first grade teacher.
Then I thought about all of my books.
Many of the books that I use in my classroom are the books I read to my own kids, to my babies. They didn't wear fancy clothes when they were little, but we always bought books.
Then I cried.
When I was done crying I thought about how I always imagined that I would be the grandma that had shelves upon shelves upon shelves of children's books at her house - many that belonged to my own children - for her grandchildren to read when they came over to visit.
Then I cried some more.
So I decided that I will donate most of my classroom supplies to the next first grade teacher, but the books that hold memories for me and my children are coming home with me.
Then I thought about the books that each of my kids loved the most.
Sarah's was definitely The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. We read that book so many times, we had to purchase a second copy. She read that book with the same expression and intonation that I used. It was adorable.
Gillian loved this book called The Noo Noo Tree. I don't remember who wrote it. But it was about a family of monsters, and the baby didn't want to get rid of her Noo Noo (pacifier). The parents began to take her Noo Noos away and they buried them in the yard, and up grew a Noo Noo tree.
Ean and I loved reading Nacho and Lolita by Pam Munoz Ryan. We read this book often, but when he was a little older as it is a more complicated text with exquisite illustrations. Our memories of this book always include me crying at the end. I love this book so much that I bought a copy for my friend Danielle.
I might not be around to see my grandchildren (if my kids choose to have kids - no rush or no pressure!) but I hope the books that I loved and treasured and read and created memories with will make it to their shelves and their hearts.