“Archives in a Drawer,” Ensign, Jan. 1984, 68
I’m not sure just how it happened, but somewhere along the line our collection of family treasures became known as “The Archives.” While kindergarten paintings, handprints in plaster, and lace-pasted Mother’s Day cards will not be found in most archives, they play a prominent place in ours and do give a “historical perspective” of sorts to our family.
Since we seem to be too busy right now to be very well organized, our archives have neither rhyme nor reason. But what we have is admired and enjoyed. Our 14-year-old likes “trying on” his baby bootie to his size 12 feet; our 11-year-old likes knowing that when he was three he said, “Look, Mommy, the moon is full blast!”; and our 8-year-old likes looking at all his old report cards.
Whenever it appears that something might have “historical value,” I ask the boys to put it in the “archives”—the middle drawer of my bureau. But first I always write on it the date or circumstance. If it doesn’t get done right away it doesn’t get done at all, so this is a MUST!
When the drawer gets so full it won’t close anymore, I go through the items and take out those that are not particularly significant. The ones I want to keep go into a large bedding box, and every year or so I check to be sure they remain meaningful. This is a good rainy-day activity, and the children are inevitably amused by the contents of the box. Maybe one day they’ll smile with their own children over the same items and know that we cared for these small, warm remembrances, because we care very much for them! Jan Bernhisel, Fort Bragg, California