“Hey L, come help me take out the trash and recycling,” I call as we finish up playing tag in the front yard, our new daily tradition. I pull into the laundry room the wicker basket we put our paper recycling in during the week and have her help me transfer the paper from it to the tub we’ll take out to the street. And then she sees it: one of her drawings. There. In the recycling.
“What’s this doing here?!” she asks, confused. “Are you throwing this away?”
I think fast and answer truthfully: “Well, we went through everything, and we’re saving the best.”
She looks at one of her crayon drawings and asks incredulously: “And this?!?”
Truthfully, it is quite good.
“Well, we can take that,” I admit. “It’s a good drawing.”
“And this?!” she exclaims, pulling out another. “And my subtraction work?!”
Soon she’s pulled out every single item of hers, each time accompanying the delicate removal with a gasp of shock and horror.
I explain to her that we can’t keep everything, making a mental note to check with K before having the Girl help sort recycling again. Still, it’s not a lesson she’ll learn quickly: most of us tend to hold onto things more than we should.