The Teenage Room: Cleaning Out Childhood

Out of the Box


When she’s brutal, she’s brutal.

And from the looks of the living room when I began writing this post, she was brutal.

Growing old is easy to do – for some of us.  It just happens – to most of us.  Growing up is a bit harder, especially when we are looking back.

What We Miss About Childhood

What do you miss most about childhood?  Sleeping in?  Birthday parties?  Toys galore?

Most adults would say: The lack of responsibility.

As growing adults, we can’t chuck responsibility as easily as yesteryears’ coloring books. If we do, it catches up with us at some point.

The teenage years seem to be the starting point of that future point:  Where the past meets the future.

My 17-year old (at the time of the first draft of this post) tackled her room – and was brutal.

Brutal @SuzBroadhurst

Childhood memories – both good and less than – swept past her face like dust mites on a family quilt, as she uncovered (unearthed?) layer upon layer of life at home.

Then it was my turn to go through her discards, just in case there was something I couldn’t live without.  I, this time however, was also brutal with the get-rid-of’s.  When the sorting was complete, my pile of “you can’t give THIS away” was surprisingly quite small in comparison to what went out the door, one way or another: to the trash, to the thrift store, or to friends with littles.

Follow the Corner

Is your child turning a corner?  Are they moving from one stage of development to the next?

Follow their throw-away lead.

  • If they are being sentimental, follow suit with oodles of cuddles and storytelling as each piece is remembered and decided upon.  Even memory-removal can be memory-making.
  • If they are being brutal, let them be brutal.  Sometimes, brutal is best.
      If you are the Final Decider of Memory Keepers, keep only what you think they will coo and oooh over when they are at a future stage of development.

Or you are.

Save just enough for a memory, not a future melt-down.

Chalkboard Paint

REALITY CHECK:  The 17-year old is now 18 and the room has a collection of newly made memories to cull.  Isn’t it sweet to know that when we let go of one season, another blooms in time?  Which is really good to know because the next room to dislodge is the nearly 20-year old’s, who is moving out to live on campus in the fall.  Brutal, think brutal, Suzanne.  And don’t even **think** about watching Toy Story 3 again!

Thoughts ... Insights ... Questions?