Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Only a Paper Heart...

Back off, Hallmark. This is my one-of-a-kind ornament made by our Sonny Boy #1. He was in first grade when he brought this home. It is made out of scratch paper, the text on the back having something to do with the school budget. Now, this is the same boy who refuses to let me use his name and image in my blog, but he can't stop me from spouting off about one of my favorite ornaments here.

I am not the kind of mom who saved her children's artwork, or every ceramic ashtray or macaroni-covered picture frame. I don't even remember what present this was attached to, but I knew when I saw this tag, I would never throw it out. It is just a paper heart that says "I Love Mom and Dad and Evan." He cut it out himself, and being six or seven years old, he probably relished using scissors to make the slash at the top where the ribbon went in.

Today he is a tall, lanky 22 year-old, but it is absolutely effortless for me to picture him exactly the way he looked at the time he made this heart for us. My mind goes back shockingly quick to that blond-haired boy sitting at my table, pen in hand, practicing his letters and looking up at me with a smile that still makes my heart jump up. Do all mothers keep their young alive in their hearts this way?

This paper heart hangs on our tree, a gift from my first-born son.

Merry Christmas to all the moms, and those with mothering spirits, everywhere.


40 comments:

Mamma has spoken said...

I have a couple of those too! The sons make me put them towards the back where no one can see them but they're still on the tree!

Catherine said...

Awwww.... so sweet! Oh yes, it is so easy to picture my 20 yr old boy when he was little. You wonder where your sweet little boy has gone and you realize he is standing in front of you, over you ~ as he is taller than you ~ and oh how I wish I could have him little again for just one day. sigh....

Beautiful post Betty ~ your tree is surly full of wonderful memories.
xo Catherine

McGillicutty said...

Awww it melts your heart doesn't it... my eldest posted "I love you Mommy" on my fb page and I cried. xxxx

Peggy K said...

Betty, it's been a number of years since my "big" tree has seen daylight. It's been replaced by a little tabletop that is easy to decorate, has fiber optic lights, and fits the "put up the tree" requirement. But I have ornaments like this and I'm giving much more thought to putting up the big tree next year. Thanks for the memory walk!!

Jules said...

That tugged a heart string the moment I saw it :) My mom is the same way :D

Merry Christmas
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Pat said...

How sweet! I, too, have those precious ornaments that I treasure. These kids grow up too fast, and how could that be when I'm only 39? *wink*

Georgina Dollface said...

We have a construction paper star that my stepson made for his Dad and me when he was six. It is the only ornament that really looks like it belongs on the tree. This was a really sweet post, thanks for sharing! **waves to Sonny Boy** - G

Out on the prairie said...

Simple things can be the best when love is attached.I put a number of things in a scrapbook for my kids and gave it to them when they got older and ready to leave home. My daughter came this weekend and I peeked in when she was sleeping to see my little baby girl, who is actually an adult.Memories are wonderful.

Parsley said...

How special. I would love for my teen to just write that on a card for me to keep sake since she's too cool to say it anymore.

Gigi said...

I have quite a few ornaments like that on our tree. They truly are the most beautiful ornaments.

The Empress said...

Those are my favorite kinds of ornaments. I will have those buried with me.

No lie.

Ann said...

I have a couple things like that too. They usually only come out long enough for me to treasure the memories and then they get safely tucked away until the next time.

Gigi said...

Beautiful. My son is in second grade and I'm about to post about a handmade gift he made for his teacher. I hope I can keep how sweet he is right now in my heart, as you have.

Merry Christmas, Betty. I always enjoy your blog. :)

Leah J. Utas said...

Lovely.

Cricket said...

That's a great one. It's a Christmas miracle in itself the way you have managed to keep it from disintegrating.

My oldest drew a portrait of "the famaly" that I think will be with us forever.

I have three ornaments, made for me by my sons in preschool - each has a photo of them on it. They hang in my workshop year round, above the wrenches and next to the saws.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and every blessing in the New Year.

BigSis said...

I love it! My mom still puts a very faded construction paper ornament on her tree every year that I made in 1977. When I was a teenager I was embarrassed. Now that I'm a mom, I'm touched.

Joe Cap said...

I am glad you are saving it forever and ever, I would do the exact same thing! Make sure you don't lose it.
I have always made scans of the things The Daughter created, and it is not as good as having the original in my hands, but great to have if the originals get lost.

citymouse said...

I think we do keep images of our children frozen in time deep within our hearts. I look at my grown and almost grown sons and if I look hard enough past the facial hair and worldliness they now sport, I see my little men playing with trucks and giggling at the silliness that abounded back in those days. I remember enveloping them in my arms and making their worlds right again. I wish life was that easy now.

baygirl32 said...

awww. I have a few like that and they choke me up everytime I look at them

HulaBuns said...

How sweet! I think they do. My mom always tells me I will always be her little girl no matter what my age is. :)

Flartus said...

I don't have kids, but I can just as easily picture my platinum-blonde older brother at age 5, with his poofy round haircut and goofy smile! I usually prefer to think of him that way than his current, advice-spouting, furrowed brow self. ;)

Kathie @ Just a Happy Housewife said...

awww, that is very sweet!

faye said...

Yes, very sweet.
Sometimes the smallest gift
is the best and more endearing
.. the sentiment and thought.

Liz said...

Oh, I love it!

There is some ornament from our childhood that only has a head left. My mom told me that when my brother came over and helped them put up their tree this year, he dug out that head and hung it proudly.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now I wonder if my parent's tree has a similar ornament...

Old Kitty said...

Awwww what a sweetie!!! Big hugs to your first born and yay for you for keeping this gorgeous heart! Take care
x

Jimmy said...

Very Nice Betty, these are the ornaments and memories we hold on to, no matter how old our children are they are still our children.

Merry Christmas

Sarah said...

And I'm glad he got the order right.

Leanne said...

So so sweet, Betty. Warms my heart and spirits!

gayle said...

I know exactely how you feel. The ornaments made by our kids are the very best one.

My Big Secret Blog :) said...

This stole my heart and made me a little weepy. Very sweet!

Susan Fields said...

We have a few of those cherished homemade ornaments on our tree, too! Merry Christmas!

Venassa said...

Aw that's sweet. It's the kind of ornament that I, too, would want to keep forever. Back off Hallmark is right.

Daisy said...

Well, now you've gone and made me cry. Good tears, though, and I'm smiling at the same time if that makes any sense. That's a beautiful ornament, Betty. I understand completely why you've saved it so long. :-)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Merry Christmas to the woman with lots of heart. xo

Baby Sister said...

Awww that is so sweet!! Kids can be so cute. :)

slommler said...

Merry Christmas to you too, MOM!! Yes I can remember him as a toddler and grade schooler. In a heart beat!!
And I have all the ornies he made for me. They are my treasures for sure.
Merry Christmas
Hugs
SueAnn

BECKY said...

Oh, Betty! I definitely keep seeing my 23 year old son as the little boy he was...not so long ago! Time flies by much too fast...
Another beautiful post of yours!

Hilary said...

Oh yes, I believe we all do. You described both of my boys to a T with this.

Nicolasa said...

How sweet!

Merry Christmas to you and your sweet boys!