Just Artwork?

Ever seen the episode of Friends "The One with the Secret Closet" where Chandler discovers Monica's secret closet of junk?  Well it's hilarious!

I am no Monica Geller.  I am not lucky enough to have even a tinge of OCD about cleaning.  My OCD tends to be more about chicken - don't ask!!  But, fast forward a few years and I envision someone finding a closet like this in my house.  But when they open it up, it will not be overflowing with junk but instead all of my son's artwork will come spilling out.

I fight everyday the tendency to become a hoarder of "stuff" but I fail miserably with H's artwork.  Everytime he sits in class and paints, glues, cuts, and draws, it is a vehicle to learn an important lesson either about numbers, letters, shapes, textures etc.  However, once that lesson is learned, what is left is a piece of artwork that I cherish.  Unfortunately there are many lessons to be learned and therefore the artwork is abounding!!

When H first started going to school last year I was so super excited for his first packet of artwork to come home.  I carted it to my parents' house to show it off, proudly shared it with everyone at my grandparents' house and displayed it all over the house from the fridge to my bedside table.  I even began to hang it all over H's wall as he created every letter in the alphabet.

Now, he is only half way through his second year in school and at the ripe old age of 3 1/2 he has amassed a lifetime collection of artwork.  What am I supposed to do with all this artwork??  I began putting it all on a shelf in my closet.  But as that spot is quickly filling up I have begun to scope out new spots in the house.  This is where I begin to have visions of my house becoming a hoarder's house except instead of garbage everywhere, there is H's artwork everywhere, spilling out of every cabinet, every drawer, every inch of wall space and every closet.

Seriously people, what is a mother to do??  I cannot begin to fathom throwing it away.  It is a piece of his growth process.  I still have some pieces of mail from 1998, so how could I throw away something he created.  I have never even once thought, "Why didn't my mom save my school artwork?" or "I wish I had some of my school artwork to hang on my walls."  So why do I think that H will care even the slightest if I can present to him his artwork.  Imagine his joy as he opens his high school graduation present and it is a shipping crate full of his artwork.  I'm pretty sure that wouldn't go over well.

And so, to avoid this situation completely I have scanned in all of H's flat arwork and taken pictures of the larger ones to create a photobook by year of his artwork.  Let's just hope this doesn't mean 16 photobooks AND a closet full of physical artwork.