Play Everyday

365…ok 366 days of simple, inexpensive and wildly fun 2-year-old play!

Happy Box / Memory Box

on January 10, 2012

Noah and I had a fun day planned. We were getting back together with friends we had seen nearly everyday during his first year. These were 2 of my best friends that I hadn’t seen in months bringing together our children who had grown up together (at least as much growing up as 2 & 3 year olds do). One has a little boy less than a year older than Noah, the other a little boy just a few months younger than Noah. Add in the newest addition of a 7 month old baby girl and Noah and I both were so excited we’d been counting down the days!
I brought along enough supplies for the 3 boys to create this super fun project together. But things didn’t go quite as planned. I mentioned yesterday that Every. Single. Picture. of my one and only child had been deleted from my laptop. As time passes, and recovery attempts fail, I am becoming increasingly distracted and saddened by this. I tried to stay present in play with Noah and his friends. Really I did. But I just kept seeing these tiny newborn photos in my head. As hard as I tried, I knew I couldn’t remember every single one, that alone broke my heart. And so I focused on the images I could recall, pressing hard for details not just of the images, but of the feeling. The feeling holding him gave me, the feeling of his skin on mine, of rocking him, smelling him, nursing him. My heart began to ache.
We came home and as Noah napped I continued to call computer repair services, I cried, and I searched for photos. There were some prints in a box, some in an album, a stack in the craft room I was planning to incorporate into a project. Though I had long ago (and guilt-free mind you!) given up scrapbooking, there were some completed scrap pages in another closet. I gathered them together along with a few other mementos (the obligatory hospital bracelet collection, inked footprint, etc.). I was fine with not creating some elaborate scrap page out of everything, but I did need a place, one single go-to place where I could see these things, hold them, remember.
I don’t need this because I am a mother. I don’t even need this because I am a mother who potentially lost every baby photo of her one and only (gulp). I need this because I am human. Not unlike my favorite little human boy. We all should have a place to go that brings us joy, laughter and love whether it is because we feel sad, lonely or just want a reminder of how damn blessed our lives really are.
Fortunately I have a thing for containers (kind of like I have a thing for fabrics and a thing for jars). I found a couple of boxes that would make good Memory Boxes, Happy Boxes as I referred to it for Noah. Painting is his hands-down most requested activity so I knew he’d love today’s play adventure.

 

While he napped I spray painted the shoe box white to give him a proper canvas.  I had it for another project and it dries quickly so that was perfect.  In the second picture you can see the piece of “canvas” I saved from our Train Track Painting activity (with that shoe print in the middle!).

    

 

Noah handed me a brush and encouraged me to help.  Love that!!  I made some squiggly lines on the side and spelled out his name in big blue letters across the top.  He perfected it with a big red handprint!

    

 

We bought this little painting caddy for Noah’s 2nd birthday and it has made painting so much more accessible for him and do-able for me.  I never want to say “no” to art and this caddy has really made that possible.  Everything is right there, even the water for rinsing brushes.  Clean up is a breeze!  I would recommend having something similar in every home.  Art lives here and I want to make sure it stays!  Today I put a seperate brush in each paint color and that really helped keep the paints from getting muddled into 4 variations of brown.  Definately going to conitnue with that.

I’m starting to think painting is his favorite activity because it’s always followed up with a (necessary) bath.  He didn’t get nearly as messy as he usually does before asking for his bath this time.

 

And here is the completed (for now) happy box.  I imagine we’ll continue to add to it, both inside and out, as time passes.  So long as those perfect little handprints are never erased!

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: