Don’t Save the Stickers (and other thoughts for the New Year)

I’ve had this thought floating through my head for a few weeks now.

Don’t Save the Stickers.

It started as a whisper– a gentle suggestion from somewhere in the sane part of my mind.

But it has become more of a chant. Don’t Save the Stickers. Don’t Save the Stickers. Don’t Save the Stickers.

So I’m about to admit something to you.

{I feel like I’m always admitting to things that are about to make me sound crazy to all of the internet.}

But we have a TON of stickers in our house. An entire drawer in my school supply cabinet, and various other piles of stickers in various hiding spots around the house. But for some reason, I get very antsy about the stickers actually being used. Because once the stickers are used, you can’t get them back.

It’s such a commitment, you see? You stick that sticker on the page, and FOR REAL, you can’t ever change your mind and stick it in a better place. When my children start sticking stickers on paper, I have to physically bite my tongue.

Don’t you want to save that sticker? I think in my head. You might want that one day.

I did not grow up during the depression. As far as I can remember, I never experienced a traumatic lack of stickers that would cause this nagging feeling of impending sticker famine in my soul.

{I’m like this with clothes, too. If I have a favorite new shirt, you can be sure I’ll almost never wear it. I’m saving it.}

I mean really. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Do you know what will actually happen if I succeed in saving all the stickers? My children are going to grow up, and they won’t want stickers any more. They’ll all have turned 10 years old one day, and I’ll be sitting here on a ginormous pile of stickers that no one wants. This is craziness.

And while I’m admitting all my neuroses, I actually heard myself say outloud to a babysitter a few months ago that I’d rather my children just not play with their toys if they’re going to make messes. I realized how that sounded as soon as it came out of my mouth, but at my absolute craziest, this is true: I put the blocks away in a perfect stack! Can we just sit here and admire it and just– you know– keep our hands off of it? That’s just as fun, right?!

I had a few New Year’s Resolutions: Drink more water, get through the One Year Bible without throwing up my hands in Numbers.

But my theme for 2015 is definitely Don’t Save the Stickers. And the related mantras: Play with the toys. Give one more kiss. One more pick up. One more yes instead of one more no. Because those stickers don’t need saving, and those messes won’t last forever. I won’t ever run out of kisses. But one day I will certainly run out of time.

And I plan to go down having laid all my stickers on the table.


Mary Bullock lost her front two teeth at the beginning of January. I am the official tooth puller of our household, by the way. I think I deserve a cut of all this tooth fairy money.


48 degrees at the playground. What are all these clothes for if not to wear all at once?

Bo is doing cobra on Mary Bullock's "yoga mat."

Bo is doing cobra on Mary Bullock’s “yoga mat.”