I have a small treasure box. I bought myself while on a trip with my grandparents. Besides my journals and my teddy bear, it holds pretty much everything I considered special to me from childhood.
Some of it is just memories. I have the collar from the dog I loved. And a feather from one of the chickens we had on the farmette we lived on for 2 years. I loved living there, that was when we still went to church, participated in a homeschool co-op, and I was free to be a kid.
I have the memory cards from both of my grandpa’s funerals. And a shell from one of the bullets fired in the twenty-one gun salute at my the funeral of my grandpa who was in the Korean war.
But some of it has different meaning.
I have a scrap of paper with a bible verse:
Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
I don’t remember where got the paper, I think from a ladies bible meeting my mom went to. I do remember why I kept it. I wanted it to remind me not to be “prideful” and to always think of others instead of myself. I saved it to keep myself from having selfish ambitions like getting an education, or having interests outside of the home.
I have the two thank you notes I received as a child. (You never know how much those things mean to someone, especially when one is very rarely thanked.)
I have a sand dollar my grandma gave to me, and the ticket for the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier, from when my grandparents brought me there.
I have the stub of my plane ticket from when I was allowed to go to journalism camp. I have the ticket to the public school play my pen pal was in. I have the stub from the first of few the movies I was allowed to go to without my parents.
In short, I kept evidence of pretty much everything I was ever allowed to participate in outside of the home.
I have a small candle inside a tin (it fits in the palm of my hand) that I won as a prize for getting my short story published in a child’s nature magazine. I was so thrilled to be published. I remember I won a pencil as well, but I gave it away to the neighbor girl who I desperately wanted to be friends with.
I have jewelry.
A Navajo bracelet my grandma gave to me, that I was ashamed to admit I liked. My favorite leather bracelet from when I was 6, I loved it and wore it every day until it would no longer snap around my wrist. The necklace I loved as a young teen but felt foolish for wearing. The bracelet with little coins, each with one of the ten commandments engraved on it. My dad said it was to flashy to wear. Most jewelry wasn’t considered modest, so I rarely wore it, just once in a while while I was in my bedroom.
And I have this cover of a TV guide that I saved from when I was 16. I’m not sure why I saved it, I remember I thought she was beautiful, and I wished I could look like her.
I have a little handwritten note that I wrote for my mom when I was twelve. I remember I wrote it because I wanted her to be happy and pleased with me.
” What I want to be: By Me”
“I love cooking, baking, writing, reading, taking care of hurt people and cleaning things. And sewing and crafts. I want to be a mother with lots of children to love and take care of. And a husband to help, respect and love. I want to be a servant of the Lord always. I want to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind all my life. I want to trust my life in the Lord’s care. This is what I want to be when I grow up, a keeper at home that has a beautiful soul.”
It was all I was allowed to be, and I was already figuring that out by twelve years old.
It’s funny the memories that come back looking through a little box or treasures saved from childhood.
PS. Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments and encouragement on the “Fun Mom” post. I would love to respond to all the comments, but I don’t have the time or energy lately. Just know that they are greatly appreciated, and that anyone who has struggled with feeling like a good enough mom should read through them.