During my first pregnancy, my husband and I renovated my ‘whatever’ room. I had to clear out before my son’s arrival. And we had to deal with those hideous not-really-peach-but-not-really-pink walls we had never gotten around to painting. They were awful and definitely not okay for our son’s room. When we couldn’t accommodate all of the stuff I had stacked up all over the place, I packed up lots of it. I slid the large but manageable plastic bins into the giant cabinets my husband built under the basement stairs.
Our son was born during a snowy January. A couple of years later, two months shy of my son’s 3rd birthday, his little sister was born. Life got busy. And crazy. And I abandoned the bins under the stairs. Years passed… and slowly, I forgot exactly what filled those bins. Until yesterday.
Just a little reorganization. Those were my words. Oh yes. Just a little.
Four hours later… I finally emerged from the basement to cook dinner.
I found so much. So much of my life. Art supplies of nearly every kind. Paper… God, so much gorgeous paper. Photos… mementos. And notebooks. Beautiful, worn-out, full-of-writing notebooks. I found three lovely clear-with-a-blue-lid storage bins filled… with notebooks.
Okay, one of the bins held blank notebooks. (Why do I love paper so? Why do I hoard it?)
The other two notebook bins, though… Oh, my heart raced like it did in the intense moments of anticipation before my first kiss. I felt like I won the lottery… hit the jackpot… reached the top of a mountain. I rediscovered my handwritten words. So many words. I knew the notebooks existed. I did. I remember thinking about them one night a couple of years ago when I couldn’t sleep. But 3 a.m. did not feel like an appropriate time to rummage through the basement. And by morning, the notebooks got lost in my head again. Until yesterday.
My memory tricked me. I remembered maybe four or five notebooks. Wrong. So wonderfully wrong. I found more… many more. And they are filled with everything. Fiction. Dear Diary. Drafts of letters I cannot remember if I ever sent or even to whom I wrote them. Drawings. Boys phone numbers (kind of a lot of those… I had some adventurous, carefree days… and nights. Mostly nights…).
I stacked two bins full of writing beside my bed. I pulled out a few notebooks and laid them on top. I’ve already tripped over those bins twice, but I don’t care. Last night I started reading… and I just couldn’t stop. Some of it made me laugh… and some of it completely amazed me. My God, I had great ideas.
I have decided to take a few of my recent notebooks – those in the crate by the bed that didn’t come from the basement – and put them away somewhere and forget about them for a few years. Because I know I’ll be crazy with excitement and anticipation to read today’s words years from now.