The exersaucer was surprisingly hard to let go of. When my daughter outgrew it, I was giddy to get it OUT of the house. It is bulky, and we needed the space back. But, as I put it on the steps for the next parent to come pick up…I had trouble leaving it there. Part of me wanted to stick it back down in the basement. This wasn’t a “just in case” for another baby, it was more because my son and daughter had both used it and it had been part of our life for four years now.
I’m like that, I get sentimental about the oddest things. I can easily let go of items that you typically think of as “nostalgic” but in my silverware drawer is the vegetable peeler that I’d grown up using and that came with me to college. It barely works, but I wouldn’t let my husband get rid of it (so we just have two…)
I’d like to think this is what makes me a good museum professional. If all we saved was the flashy things, the really “big ticket” items, we would have no idea what life was really like. Stories of everyday life and especially minority communities are difficult enough to find in museums, we need to be really specific in making sure we share them by not focusing on just the mainstream moments.
A professor in college had us think about our photo albums. If aliens came down and picked one up, they’d think we ate cake every day and went on trips and had lots of presents… because that is what we typically take pictures of. In reality, the day to day lives are about the stories of the people. How a mama kept her baby safe in this round bit of plastic that will give us the full and complete history of who we are.