Sunday, November 29, 2015

Dad a hoarder for his baby

Now that school is ended, I’m wondering what to do with clutter from the first grade, competing as it is with detritus from kindergarten and pre-school.

Dad a hoarder for his baby


Now that school is ended, I’m wondering what to do with clutter from the first grade, competing as it is with detritus from kindergarten and pre-school.

I’m kind of a sentimentalist, and I would never throw away the Father’s Day or birthday cards, of course. But I even have a hard time discarding random drawings of trees, or addition/subtraction worksheets, or paper hats, or basically anything that the Little Girl has created or touched.

Making things doubly hard, my daughter weeps if I throw anything of hers away. I try to explain that she will likely be gracing the world with many more interesting and worthwhile things in the future. But nothing penetrates.

The same goes with clothes. She passed size 4 years ago, but still insists on keeping outfits that no longer fit. In our tiny apartment, the past threatens to overtake the present at any given moment.

My own folks were able to avoid such problems. They applied a cold collective eye to my earnest pile of student materials, limiting the stuff to a couple of boxes.

Clearly, the pruning gene didn’t pass on. I see promos for TV shows about hoarders, and I start to get nervous.

Years from now, will they find my corpse under piles of Weekly Readers and composition books, the paramedics tut-tutting about another parent who didn’t have the guts to triage his kids’ school work product?

Inquirer Columnist
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About this blog
A New York City native, Lubrano has written for newspapers since 1980. He's the author of a book, "Limbo: Blue-collar roots, white-collar dreams," and was a commentator for National Public Radio for 16 years. His work has appeared in various national magazines and anthologies. He lives with his daughter in South Jersey, and has worked for the Inquirer since 1995. Reach Alfred at

Alfred Lubrano Inquirer Columnist
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