When I was a kid I remember when summer was just around the corner, when the days were getting longer and another school year was coming to a close. I dare say we all have our own memories of this transition in our life that happened each year when the school year came to a close. This was an exciting time….a time full of anticipation. For me, summer meant lots of pool time with friends, popsicles almost every day, riding my bike around the neighborhood (trying to keep up with my older brother who was probably trying to get rid of me!), eating watermelon outside on the lawn and FREEDOM of just being. No doubt every kid (or I hope every kid) is feeling this way at this time of year. It’s a rite of passage of sorts…well, at least I think it should be.
This week my son, Devan, graduated from Kindergarten. Many parents and friends asked me if I was getting sad that his Kindergarten experience was coming to a close. I replied ‘No, I’m so excited for him.”, but not without feeling some guilt as to why I didn’t feel more sentimental about this milestone. It occurred to me just then that a parent’s perspective at this time of year could be quite different than what I remember as I kid. Some parents seemed overwhelmed or choked up with emotion (or maybe they were just thinking….”Shoot, I have them all summer now!” To be honest, I was thinking that a bit.) because as each year passes we know as parents that our kids will ‘need’ us less in other words….they grow up.
I wasn’t super sentimental about this milestone because Devan is ‘so ready’ for the next adventure. This ‘ah-ha’ moment happened when he showed me his journal entry so proudly this past Friday….
Devan’s journal entry…..
To see your kid ready for the next step in life and new adventures filled with confidence, enthusiasm and excitement is one of the best gifts I can receive as a parent…. It’s actually a very rewarding and proud moment because maybe, just maybe after all those days of trying to be the best parent you can be (some days I’m more successful than others) and tucking him into bed each night (some days I’m spent) might be paying off (plus, geez…he’s only 5 years old….lots of time where he’s going to need his MOM!)
So…….all this reflection of course for me is translated into interior design somehow or other. Like many parents I have a big pile of artwork collected throughout the year even after already putting a lot in the circular file (aka garbage).
I wish I could say I’m one of those super organized parents (click here for some good tips!) with updated kid’s artwork/school work filed away on a timely basis or better yet displayed in my home in some cool, hip way , but this has not received a check mark with my to-do list quite yet! However, it did get me thinking about it….ways to sort through, places to display (other than the frig) and unique ways of displaying kid’s artwork in your home.
Admittedly, it’s difficult to throw away many of the things that come back from school, but honestly how many of us wish our parents saved stuff (or kept more stuff) from when we were in school. Safe to say…not many of us. So my best advice in terms of what items to save would be to save the few items that have a fun memory associated with it and ask your child what are his/her top five favorites. I have a handful of memories of stories that came home accompanying the artwork from Devan. I have jotted down a line or two on the back of the artwork of this memory or story. Better yet, a neighbor recently shared with me a great idea of video taping your child talking about a particular piece of art. I haven’t done this yet, but I thought this was BRILLANT!
Other items to consider keeping are ones that illustrate their personality, self-portraits are always fun or artwork that display their handwriting are often good items. For the items that I really like, but decide not to keep I take a picture of it and include in my yearly digital family album (by the way, I’m 1 year behind on this!)
Of course, if you’re thinking about displaying the art colorful pieces and different scales of art are always good to keep in mind. So that brings me to displaying artwork…..I hear from many of my clients that artwork is one of the last things that they can decide on for their home. So my advice….use your kids’ artwork, but pick an area and focus on this one area. It’s important to first decide where the artwork will be displayed and then go for there. Ask yourself…
- Where will the kids enjoy their art the most?
- Where do the kids take their friends in your home?
- What areas in the home do your kids play the most/use the most?
Devan is extremely proud when we display his artwork and I’ve noticed that it encourages him to be more creative.
(I’m a sucker for anything with texture.)
(I’m always reminding Devan that saying “hello” to people is polite and a part of having good manners. He drew the picture above on the day I was so annoyed that he didn’t greet a handful of people while walking to school.)
Some other things to keep in mind when displaying kid’s artwork…..
Rotate (a little pricey, but pretty cool. Check out these frames Lil Davinci Art Cabinets!
Create a Gallery
Here are some great visuals…both creative and budget friendly!
So, admittedly after some reflection perhaps I am a bit sentimental about this time of year, but mostly because I’m excited for Devan and the new adventures he’ll embark on this summer, next year in 1st grade and beyond. So here’s to each of us feeling ‘so ready’ for whatever life may present us. Soak life up….past, present and future.
Until next time…..