Thursday, February 17, 2011

Organization is good for the soul

You may remember that earlier this month I laid out plans to tackle the paperwork monster – my office. Anyway, yesterday it got really emotional. Who knew that pieces of paper could hold such strong emotional attachment?
I spent about 3 hours working in the office, and I went through all kinds of things. I saw the very first drawing Monkey ever made. I also found about a half-dozen of his baby teeth, and marveled at his first attempts at writing. I glanced through paperwork from the hospital when he was born, along with the momento birth record signed by the doctor who delivered him.
There were well-baby visit records, with growth charts and little dots indicating where my boys fell on the curve. I found a large stack of immunization information sheets from when the boys got their shots. Wow. Reading through those with new eyes made me tearful at my own ignorance back then. Boy, did that get to me! Even now, it’s getting to me as I write this. Those were the days before I truly understood what autism was and what impact my choices would have on my children.
I even found the Christmas letter I wrote when I broke the news of the boys’ diagnosis to the family and our close friends. That was 2007. It was a big year. Monkey was 4 and Prince Charming was 2. I can’t even describe how little sleep I got while I was up at all hours cramming my brain full of information, trying to do something…anything to help my children. I was a slave to my car, chauffeuring them around to appointment after appointment, most of them a considerable distance from our house. There were receipts from classes I attended, and lots of progress notes from therapists. I rolled through that year like a freight train for sure.
I also found a handwritten letter from a relative who passed away a year ago, and I took some time to honor her memory. There was so much more to appreciate, digest, and filter through. All of it brought back a flood of memories, some good and some not so much.
I didn’t expect cleaning my office to be so emotional. I’m about halfway done now. I’ve filled my shredder more than 4 times, recycled about 4 boxes worth of paper, and packed up about 6 boxes. There’s still a lot to do. I’m getting there, slowly but surely.
Yesterday’s experience makes me wonder what other things I have yet to find. There are forgotten moments among the disarray, waiting to be rediscovered. I guess organization really is good for the soul.   
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