Why your should keep your adult child’s stuff forever and ever

Cardboard Box, Inducted 2005

Combined ShapeCaption
Cardboard Box, Inducted 2005

Here is a message to my dear, dear mother, but please don't share it with her: I am never, ever, ever, never taking my stuff from your house.

It wouldn’t be right.

My mother has been asking me to pick up my stuff for years.

She’s relentless and simply won’t get my many hints.

My stuff is perfectly fine in my mom’s house and she is real skilled at keeping all of it.

She’s proven that fact day by day and year by year since I left home.

My mom is so good at it in fact that nothing — EXCEPT FOR THAT ONE CHERISHED THING — was lost or damaged when she moved to her current house from my childhood home.

If that’s not a glowing review, I don’t know what is.

If my mom were on Linkedin, I would give her an endorsement for keeping physical reminders of important childhood memories.

My Yelp review of her performance would impress even the most picky former kid.

People would fly in from all over just to leave childhood memories at her house.

That could be awkward. My childhood memories are very crass and territorial.

You might read this and think that I am being mean to my mother.

I can almost hear your rage: “you are a horrible daughter and totally suck.”

Perhaps you aren’t exactly impartial.

You yourself might want your adult children to come get his or her collection of old LL Cool J posters and Garbage Pail Kid cards.

Maybe you have it all boxed up and ready to go for them.

My mom does, too.

Your reaction is totally natural, but here are a few things I pray you consider before forcing your adult child’s old stuff on your adult child:

I guarantee that those things are not really in your way when you think about the consequences.

My mother has a big house, much larger than mine.

Even if it weren’t, she would already be used to not being able to use the space my stuff is currently occupying.

She won’t really gain anything by me taking my stuff. I would lose however.

Consider the expense of getting all my memories from her house to mine.

The could cost of moving those heavy memories could go in to the millions of dollars. The emotional impact could be priceless.

I am comforted by the fact that my mother has those old coloring books and hairless Barbie dolls.

She safeguards my childhood memories as well as she safeguarded me as a child and still does spiritually today despite the many physical miles between our hearts.

She is the only person I would trust to curate the Amelia Robinson Museum of Insignificant Childhood Stuff.

Yes, when you think about it, it is sort of an honor to her that I trust her to keep my stuff… wink.

If I were ever to “go through” my old stuff I probably would be disappointed in how small and terrible all the doodads and whatevers actually are.

The pages I’ve written in my mind would automatically and dramatically become blank.

Why destroy the fantasy I have contracted if she has room for my junk in her basement?

There are rainbows and unicorns to think of.

To parents who want their adult children to collect their stuff, I ask why would you want to kill unicorns??

Have room in you heart, basement and/or attic for rainbows and unicorns, please.

And besides, what am I supposed to do with that junk?

About the Author