My downsizing just stalled. . . . .
It’s the trophies. Three large bins of trophies. One for each son. There are trophies for soccer, wrestling, t-ball, baseball, football, tennis and basketball. With three sons, we were well represented in almost every sport. There are also medallions, ribbons and other sports-based keepsakes. Some represent well-deserved championships and some are “participation” trophies. All were very important and were proudly displayed.
My grown millennial sons are not settled in large spaces yet so they do not have storage room for much of anything, let alone their childhood memories. So we are storing these trophies. We haven’t pushed the inevitable outcome, but one way or another the bins will eventually leave our home. I am not sure how I feel about this. (My husband says Get. Rid. Of. Them.)
We could make our sons take their stuff. My parents made me take all my stuff when I moved into my first post-college apartment. I mean everything. I lugged those 42 boxes of household items, clothes and memories all over the country. New Orléans, Indianapolis, Minnesota and finally Florida. I still have the Barbie dolls and all their clothes. Are they worth anything? Probably not. Do I ever take them out of the box? No, not really. So why keep them?
I think it might be because they represent a part of me – a stage of life – that is forever gone. These dolls trigger memories and sometimes help me to remember. They make me feel good. I don’t see me getting rid of them.
So what’s with the trophies? It’s the memories and the traces – the proof that we once had a loud, loving houseful of children. We hurried home from the office to spend evenings on the baseball, football and soccer fields. We discovered metal bleachers get really cold. We waited three hours at wrestling tournaments just to watch a 5-minute match. We ate a lot of hot dogs. We celebrated the wins and consoled entire teams when they lost. We were coaches, team parents and their biggest cheerleaders. This was a wonderful time in our lives and when I look at those trophies, I see more than a plastic trophy. I see their practices with friends, dedication of kids and coaches, the parents – my friends – who rallied at every game and the fun we had together. The trophy reminds me of all of this. My sons probably see it as a sign of a competitive WIN (you know how boys are. . . ), but I know it also represents a cherished piece of their childhood.
So, about these trophies. It’s what they represent. It’s what I see when I look at the trophies. I see those little boys who played their hearts out. I remember washing clay-stained white baseball pants and sewing on little league patches at 1 AM. I remember that awful, smelly football gear and carpooling kids to practice with the windows down. Mostly I remember that time in our lives when we were all together. All of our family under one roof. Our friends in daily contact. A precious bit of time that flew by so incredibly fast.
I guess it won’t hurt anything to hang on to those trophies just a little longer. ❤️