I know exactly what happened. You made a baby.
Years later your progeny formed the muscles he or she needed to hold a crayon. Immediately, your adorable little creature started drawing stuff.
Since that time, your darling child has been creating works of art. Precious works of art. So precious that you can’t bear to throw them out. Any of them.
I know. I’ve been there. I’m still there.
Now your home is filled with cardboard boxes stuffed with paper. Paper blighted by jagged lines. Squiggles. Blotches. Hapless attempts at rendering human forms. Oh that’s a hand? I thought it was a circle with five lines coming out of it.
You knew in your heart it was terrible but you went ahead and gave it value — to you and only you. Why? Because Jayden was four when he drew it. Having invested emotionally in that scrap of paper you’re now paralyzed when it comes to doing the right thing. You can’t bring yourself to toss his portrayal of “Santa on the roof” — even though you know it will do far more good when it’s recycled into a gum wrapper or sanitary napkin.
That’s where I come in.
It’s easy. I come to your door. We don’t need to talk. I know where everything will be anyway. We parents are all the same.
You hand me an envelope with our pre-arranged fee. Then go sit in your bedroom. Close the door. Watch Netflix or something. You don’t want to be present. You shouldn’t be present. I will be ruthless.
I’m going to get rid of everything. I don’t care if you consider it Becket’s best work. It’s not. And I don’t care that you named your kid Becket. Or Kobe. Or Story. I don’t know why you’d do that, but it’s not my job to care.
My job is to get rid of everything — with zero emotional attachment. Wholeheartedly void of conscience.
Think of me as a hit-man for your child’s artwork.
Nothing will keep me from tossing dearest Melody’s depiction of Frozen’s Elsa into the bin. Nothing. It served its purpose. You did everything you were supposed to do. You held it up, you looked at it, you smiled, you said, “Great job, Melody!”
And she was happy. So happy.
That’s all Melody wanted, and you — good parent — came through. But now that piece of paper with sixteen yellow lines and some blue dots for eyes serves no purpose. None. It’s not even close to Elsa.
Yet you put it on the coffee table.
I know what happens next. So do you. Eventually it will be moved to a pile on a bookshelf or side table. That pile will grow. When it eventually becomes an eyesore, you’ll put it in a box.
I’ll sort through it later, you’ll lie to yourself. We all lie to ourselves.
And there that box will sit. Forever. Taking up valuable space in closets and cupboards. The boxes will grow in number and size as your dear son or daughter broadens their tools of expression to watercolors, paints and, god forbid, paper maché.
Don’t fool yourself. You will never be strong enough to do what should be done, what must be done.
But I can help. Call me. Let’s end this. Now.