Dear first-born child,
As much as it pains me to recycle any of your works of art, I'm afraid that we're going to have to sort something out.
It's time you were let in on the little secret that Blue Box and I have been keeping for a while now. Occasionally, when I'm trying to clean up the kitchen, or when I'm in one of my periods of Real Simple magazine-inspired organizational zeal, I force myself to part with some of your earlier works.
First, I pause for a moment over the brown construction-paper crown you made at school on Groundhog Day, or that tin-foil and feather-covered dreamcatcher thingy you made in preschool. I shed a few tears for more innocent times, as I reflect on your depictions of knights, castles, dragons and no-smoking signs.
Then I stuff them in the recycling bin under the kitchen and steal them away to the garage after you're in bed.
Of course I set aside your hand-made book, "The Questing Beast," that we made together when you were four, along with all drafts of my mother's day cards. And your recent depictions of the solar system have been lovingly added to the art wall.
And while I agree with you that "they're pretty much all keepers," I'm afraid that with the price of real estate in Toronto, the craft drawer alone is going to cost me about $100,000 with interest, amortized over the 25 (or 30) years it takes to pay off this place.
Meanwhile, I've done a really great job of sorting all of your markers, crayons, gluesticks, pipe cleaners - even those dreaded novelty scissors that bark like a dog with each snip - into neat little baskets. If you could stick with the system - and keep an eye on your brother with the playdough - that would be really great.