One of the best parts about sending Ryan to preschool — besides the obvious bonus of being able to grocery shop in peace — has been the massive amount of quaint art projects making their way into my home.
You know what I’m talking about: Footprints decorated to look like ghosts at Halloween, handprints decorated to look like turkeys at Thanksgiving, cotton ball Santas and construction paper candy canes in December. All those things we made in preschool a couple dozen years ago that now seem slightly cheesy and old fashioned compared to the homemade Pinterest projects of today.
At least one day a week over the holiday season, I opened up Ryan’s school bag to discover a nostalgic treasure inside. Each week, my smile got bigger and bigger until the day I opened his school bag and found something that made me squeal “OH MY GOD, RYAN; IT’S BEAUTIFUL!!!!”
Yep, that’s a legit Old School Macaroni Ornament (green macaroni, no less), with the traditional preschool picture in the middle.
Each year, my parents still hang a similar sort of ornament with a preschool picture of yours truly that is glued to a small but impressively colored picture of a Christmas tree. It’s one of my mom’s favorite ornaments, a notion that made me roll my eyes a bit growing up.
I get it now. Green Macaroni Ornament became an immediate favorite, an instant classic. We hung that beauty up together, beaming like a couple of fools.
Last night, I carefully wrapped it in tissue paper and stored it away into the depths of the basement with the rest of the Christmas decor. There it will sit for the next 11 months, largely forgotten until the day I pry the lid off the container again and unwrap it with wide eyes that can’t believe how beautiful it still is, how much bigger he has already become.
And then I’ll grin and hang it front and center on my tree.
Every year for the rest of my life. Whether it makes him roll his eyes or not.