A mom updated her Facebook status this week to read:
"Mimi is really pleased with how happy her children are at their new summer camp but if they come home with one more craft involving 'glitter glue' I'm going to have to put the hurt on someone over there."
Our kids are in the same Westchester preschool camp and it's true – to date, nearly every afternoon has yielded a piece of construction paper with foam objects attached and heavily sprinkled with glitter glue. There's been a lot of red, white, and blue in a patriotic nod to our nation's birthday.
My house is not very neat. I have four kids, a dog, and a cat -- not to mention a husband -- so a little glitter glue actually only enhances the appearance of my decor. Friends like Mimi have much neater homes so I can see where the predicament comes in. We all love our children and are floored by their creative talents. But just how long (if at all) do we have to keep their art projects?
Parents like Mimi who have two young ones at the camp get twice the glue projects coming home. She pledges not to take them further than the garage. Her husband can go look at them there.
Another mom checked in to say that she keeps a trash can in the garage and, after she scoots the kids into the house, the day's artwork goes from the car into the can. Seemingly, her kids never ask, "Hey, where's that glitter glue portrait of Patrick Henry I made today?"
My neighbor tells me she displays the kids' artwork proudly on the mantle until it flops over after a day or two and then, simply disappears. Nuf said.
While helping me with a recent paperwork purge at our house, my ten-year-old son noticed that I had several baskets of artwork by his younger brother but none of his.
"That's because your brother's in preschool and brings home stuff every day. You are in fifth grade and don't bring home that much anymore."
He looked at me dubiously. I took him by the hand to the basement and opened the drawer of an old bureau to show him that I had saved an equally ridiculous amount of his masterpieces including a giant, hand-drawn mother's day card, early poetry and song lyrics, and a sketch of Spongebob Squarepants on a napkin.
He gave me a big smile.
I also discovered that if you leave a glitter project on the floor of your car on a very sunny day, it gives the inside of your car into a disco ball effect with bright spots all over the interior and passengers. Kind of cool.
Susan Konig is the author of I Wear the Maternity Pants in This Family. Visit susankonig.com