When I was in fourth grade, we had an assignment to design a trap for a leprechaun. The trap had to use at least one lever, pulley, or similar mechanisms. I don't remember why, but my uncle helped me (read: all by himself) build a super awesome trap. There was a cage that lowered onto the leprechaun and everything. It was made of wood and we painted a forest scene, complete with a lake with tiny frog figurines. There was ivy, butterflies, and birds perched all around. Seriously, this trap was the fucking shit. And that's me being modest.
After the teacher graded the projects, I took mine home and like all my school projects, gave it to my mom. She put it on top of her desk in her work area and kept it safe for years. Then we lost the house and kept the important things and left what we couldn't carry. She took the trap.
Five years later, my mom moved into a little one bedroom apartment. (I was living with my brother in a two bedroom place at the time) She borrowed a mattress and box spring from my cousin; TV from an uncle; microwave from a second cousin; dishes courtesy of Wal-Mart. For the first couple of weeks, her place didn't have the home-y feel to it because the only decorations my mom had were refrigerators magnets. Don't get me wrong, those letter magnets are worth hours of entertainment, but they're only available in the kitchen.
Then we started getting her stuff out of storage. First was the VHS player and all her tapes (goes to show you how old my mom is) and her curtains. Then a bookshelf and boxes of novels. Pictures, posters, board games, etc. And finally the leprechaun trap, which was placed on her bed's headrest.
A year and a half later, my brother joined the marines, I have an empty bedroom, can't afford the rent and my mom spends all her time at my place anyways. So she moved in with me. (It's important to note that she moved in with me, not the other way around.) This is the third time in seven years my mom has moved. During the move, I kept asking my mom why we couldn't throw some of this stuff away, especially the trap and the board games. What use did they have? She refused and somehow made room for nearly everything she had.
Then, earlier this week, one of my dogs knocked the trap off the table and it broke. I was not home, so my mom picked up the pieces and threw them away. I only found it because I was taking the trash out and noticed a piece of trap in the bin. When I asked my mom why it was there, she explained what happened.
The trash man comes in three hours, and it's taking all of my will power not go digging for that leprechaun trap. It is pointless, but for some weird reason I want it and it hurts to think that it'll be in a landfill outside of town soon. But now I understand why my mom wants to keep all those board games.
It's not that we might play with them again someday, it's that we played with them once. They remind her of happier times and who am I to question if she can keep her memories?