I have a particularly hard time going through their art and trying to decide what to keep and what not to. Who am I to judge the relative importance of their drawings? I once tried involving my four-year-old in the process of paring down her massive collection of drawings. The result? An hour of her carefully examining every drawing, explaining why each was important to her, then placing them all in the "keep" pile (there were approximately four drawings in the discard pile that were rejected purely for cosmetic reasons: wrinkling or a tear at the edge). Afterwards I felt like a criminal for even contemplating disposing of anything. The flat nature of most of their art has enabled me to mostly not face up to the problem. But as the designated art box in the closet has reached its limit and is now overflowing, I realize my days of denial are rapidly coming to an end.
I, myself, am actually fond of selecting objects outdoors that catch my eye. Perhaps it is because I know they are often so fleeting in their beauty and will soon be back outside.
My younger daughter's collection this morning reminded me of a pair of leaves I once carried home. Any amount of time outside with her results in a pocket full of rocks, leaves and flowers (mine almost certainly, and hers as well if she happens to have pockets). This morning it was a handful of smaller leaves and a few flowers nestled in a larger leaf, dried and curled at its edges. I love the embracing shape that leaves take on as they dry. This is my daughter's collection today, paired with mine from a few years ago.