Sunday, November 13, 2011

The yellows, rescued

On Friday, Magdalena spent a long time after church separating all the yellow pieces of construction paper from the pile, and then drawing a picture on each and every one of them. It was her magnum opus. As she worked, she stretched out each picture on the living room floor to show it off.

She enjoyed looking at her pictures and enhancing them with more coloring on Saturday.

Later that night, I was tidying up and somehow I grabbed her stack of papers and took it out with some other items to the neighborhood recycling bin. As I dumped it in the bin, I realized what I had just thrown away, but I thought it wasn't a big deal. The girls produce so much paper artwork that we couldn't possibly keep it all. I usually take photos of the best stuff and then recycle it (go ahead, judge me).

Well, yesterday after school, Magdalena started asking for "the yellows." I hedged and said that I had put them "somewhere," but under her persistent badgering and increasingly specific questioning, I finally had to cave and admit to her that I'd recycled them. She instantly burst into tears.

So - you guessed it - I grabbed a stepstool and the three of us headed out to the recycling bin (it's the size of a dumpster) at the end of our street. We were all relieved to see that the truck hadn't come yet. I fished around for a while and moved aside some larger bags of recycling items (THANK GOODNESS IT WAS NOT THE GARBAGE BIN) and spotted a pile of yellow papers at the very bottom. Miriam fetched a stick for me but I still couldn't quite maneuver them into my reach.

At that moment, some AUS operations employees passed by. I threw all shame and caution to the wind and asked them to - yes, really - help me fish out some papers from the recycling bin. The guy who volunteered to help was taller than I am and he was able to get at the stack of papers without too much additional trouble.

When he handed them to Magdalena, she clutched them to her chest and embraced them fervently. We all said thank you to the man who saved the day and then headed home to play with "the yellows," rescued, from the recycling bin.


Kathy Haynie said...


...maybe bind them with yarn or string into a book?

Britney said...

I love this story. It reminds me of the time we tried to fish through an apartment dumpster for a lost 50 dollar bill in a birthday card that somehow got thrown out with all the wrapping paper.

Sadly, we were unsuccessful in finding our treasure. I'm glad you found yours. :)

Liz Johnson said...

What is it with kids and strange drawings?! I always throw away the ones that I think will go unnoticed, and those are ALWAYS the ones they ask about later. What gives?!

Sarah Rose Evans said...

I think taking pics is a brilliant idea for preserving the artwork without the masses of paper. I'm glad the yellows were saved, though. Demitri has some attachment to some Lorax drawings we did.

Lisa Lou said...

"the yellows." How funny. Kids are hilarious.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

The greatest thing about digital cams is taking photos of things so you can get rid of the 'thing.' Maybe she'll want to decorate her room with the yellows, then someday she'll be ready to recycle them.

Crys said...

There are things I've gotten rid of years ago that Captain E still complains about. Some kids are like that :)

Katie said...

Haha! Cutie. :)

Shannan said...

That is a neat story. As a child development expert (ahem, at least my resume says so, not necessarily my own parenting experience), I love the juxaposition of the picture with the story. It truly expresses childhood.

What you did was HUGE in your daughter's eyes! You solidified yourself more to her more than anything. Great job mom!

Anonymous said...

Just last week I learned that my mother had thrown away (possibly they went to Goodwill) every bridesmaid dress I owned. I'm 32. I burst into tears like a little girl looking for her yellows, and she was completely baffled.


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