My parents love sending me stuff from my past. Whether it’s trinkets, artwork, or awards, they occupy my mailbox, then my counter, then finally my recycle bin.
(Sorry mom and dad if you thought I was saving that stuff.)
Each package is prefaced with a heads-up email I receive roughly three days prior. Upon receipt, Lesley and I review the contents and celebrate my wondrous childhood. In other words, we smile and laugh at the thought of five-year-old me putting hard work and creativity into something resembling a dried poop smear on off-white construction paper.
Not all of my art, or awards, are laughable, but all of them are well-received and remind me I’m just a human. I’m just a human and my successes (and inevitable failures) are relative.
A poop-smear painting to thirty-one-year-old me may have seemed like a Picasso to my younger self.
I also realized the now unaccredited grade schools I attended gave out a lot of “certificates of award” for my mere participation.
And, I participated in a lot.