I’m back in my hometown to continue the Herculean labor of cleaning out Mom’s house–the house I was raised in until I bolted to college.
Mom was something of a collector and had a wide range of interests and once her nest was empty, she had seven bedrooms full of nothing but space to fill. That, combined with the fact that I have five siblings, any of whom may want any one of the iotas or items in the rooms, has led me to spend days over the past few years cataloging items in Mom’s house.
Today I came across some medicine that I used in my eye–it’s a long story involving scissors–when I was younger. The medicine expired in 1982.
Mom, I love you, but seriously, why were you saving this? It expired almost 30 years ago. The only thing it would be good for now would be to blind me. Unless perhaps you were saving it to remind yourself of how your son accidentally stuck scissors in his eye over 30 years ago, causing you to bolt from the grocery store, leaving a full cart in the middle of the aisle to race home and find me…er…basically fine, if wounded.
Pondering this, I decided that if I ever truly get upset with my kids, I won’t disinherit them. I’ll overinherit them.
I’ll start saving every scrap of paper they touch now, ever old band-aid, every leaf or rock or rusty nail they pick up from the gutter, every program from every play they’re in–in short, every reminder of everything they’ve ever done, and let them sift through it themselves after I’m gone.
On top of that, I’ll add every ticket stub from every concert I’ve been to, every matchbook from every bar I’ve been too, every sad teenage poem I ever wrote, ever street sign I ever…er…acquired in a totally legal fashion–in short every reminder of everything I’ve ever done. All I need for this is for UPS to come pick up my room from this house and deliver it to my kids.