Audra Krell

On Purpose

I’m My Own Trapper Keeper

Photo Courtesy @Google Images

I wanted the Trapper Keeper so bad. But even with three jobs, for three kids, my mom’s budget didn’t contain coin for a Trapper Keeper. I needed it because well, it was just so fresh. And the matching folders, those were totally awesome. I felt like such a Joanie without the blue rainbow Trapper Keeper. Of course everyone had one, but me.

The other reason I needed one is because Carry Murphey had one. The most popular girl in school who always had the best of everything. Finest boyfriend, greatest smile, silkiest hair, and like the best school supplies ever. Hello Kitty pencils, Bionic Woman book covers and her own subscription to Tiger Beat. It came right to her mailbox every month. That was major awesomeness, Major. Carry’s TK also seemed like a golden ticket. The girl never did any work,she just sat in class organizing the mother of all binders. My inner organizer called at a very young age as well. I just knew if I could arrange all my papers in color coded folders, I could avoid doing classwork too.

But it was not to be and I went all my formative years without one. Frankly, I’m not sure how I survived. Even when my parents got divorced, the Trapper Keeper was not a parting gift I could weasel out of my father. Believe me I tried. I ended up with a Pretty Changes Barbie though, and while there was nothing pretty about the changes in my life, it was somewhat of a consolation prize.

Then I grew up and had my own kids. Did the “my kids will have everything I didn’t” thing. When it came time for serious school supply shopping, I proudly led our 3rd grade son over to the Trapper Keeper section. Waving my hand across the shiny rows of TK’s, I encouraged him to pick whichever one he wanted. He simply stared. No stars in his eyes, no excitement, nothing.

“Our teacher said we’re not allowed to have those.”

What? I mentally shook my fist at the man. I mean what teacher in their right mind would shun the beautiful organization of the best notebook ever made? And then my son. Did he not want to be most popular? Most likely to succeed due to his organizational skills? Did he not want the silkiest hair ever?

“She didn’t mean it. Pick one out.” I did another large flourish with both hands this time. “You love yellow, get that one.”

“They said it takes us too long to get things out and they can’t stand the sound of 30 zippers zipping and unzipping all day.”

“What about the sound of 30 losers who can’t find their papers and are unable to get jobs someday?”

Now it was his turn to be incredulous. “What mommy?”

“Nothing,” I grumbled. I couldn’t believe it, my chance to live vicariously through my son was being slowly snuffed.

I turned to our 4 year old, hope brimming in my eyes once again. “What about you? You need a Trapper Keeper. Pick any one you want.” He just giggled and jammed his hand inside a bin of glue sticks, displacing several onto the floor.

We didn’t buy any TK’s that day or ever.

Admittedly our boys don’t have the silkiest hair, but they’ve got good heads on their shoulders. Maybe they’re not the most popular but they are surrounded by faithful friends and family. Organizational skills are on the rise and they’ve enjoyed many successes at early ages. And all without a Trapper Keeper.

And me? Well obviously I can be the Trapper Keeper of Bitterness. Through this writing however, I’ve realized that by the grace of God, we’re all going to be more than okay.

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23 thoughts on “I’m My Own Trapper Keeper

  1. nwhannas on said:

    Oh, Audra. We really were separated at birth…I keep trying (even now) to talk Jenny into getting a TK, as well. Nope. Not gonna have it. I know those lessons are good and all, but I’m still not gracious enough to always like learning them. One day, I’ll count it all as joy, James. One day. Great post.

  2. Hello twin, it’s so hard to be apart! Seriously though, that is the beauty, one day you and I will count it all joy my friend. How blessed are we?

  3. I love it! Wonderful writing, Audra. I always wanted the silkiest hair ever. 🙂

  4. Floyd on said:

    I loved it… This is a great story of how our insecurities rise to the surface and God uses our kids to enlighten us…

    This writing is first rate. This is you. I can read who you are and your personality in this post even if I didn’t already know you. This is you at your best Audra… The best part of the story is getting to hear someone share from their heart, not their keyboard… Absolutely wonderful.

  5. Now you’ve given me something to think about while I’m creating, am I sharing from my keyboard or from my heart? Thank you so much Floyd. What about you? Were you a Trapper Keeper Kid?

    • UHHHH… No. I never heard of them until today… I know they were around, I remember some kids having zipper type folders, but I was thinking short term. Maybe I was wishful thinking. I can’t say I had much in the way of organizational envy! Maybe I should have!

  6. I’m still drawn to Trapper Keepers whenever I see them in the store!

  7. Michelle on said:

    Stumbled across your blog from A Holy Experience…Ha! I finally scored a TK and have held onto it all these years! My kiddos 13 year old twins, a boy and a girl don’t see the value or beauty of a TK…They too could not be bothered with me trying to buy them one…so I even pulled out my old Rainbow TK I had as a kid that I stuffed full of poetry back in my day….showed them how cool they were, They still just don’t get my TK facination!.. Loved Floyd’s comment “This is a great story of how our insecurities rise to the surface and God uses our kids to enlighten us… “….I would agree! I too love when I am screaming like a crazy mom about something to my kiddos and the Lord pings my heart to teach me the same lesson!….Love how our awesome Lord teaches through others and especially my kiddos! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by Michelle. While we are on the topic of Floyd, I highly recommend his blog. He’s a great writer with an every mans (or womans) perspective that I enjoy tremendously. And now on to my dreadful jealousy, did you have the one in the picture? You must have the silkiest hair ever. But seriously, what a gift to find your poetry. A direct portal to your past! Hoping you celebrated the girl of yesterday and that God restored any pain that may have found it’s way into your writing. Blessings!

  8. r.elliott on said:

    guess what…I use a sweet trapper keeper for my coupons…it’s never to late to find a new use for one in your life:)

  9. Michelle on said:

    Yep! I have the one in the picture! My hair not so silky anymore! What beautiful words :(Hoping you celebrated the girl of yesterday and that God restored any pain that may have found it’s way into your writing.:). God has restored! Thank you! Will check out Floyds blog!

  10. I think you and I were stitched together somewhere along the way – While I’ve never heard of a Trapper Keeper – I too watched from the sidelines as all the other kids had more – More pretty clothes, better shoes, prettier hair and mommys and daddys who stayed together… Yep sisters in Christ… stitched together by Him.

    • Thank you for stopping by sister! Looking back I had a pretty great life, God gave me just what I needed. But I’m sure it’s universal to feel like we don’t get what we want and that other people get it all.

  11. This cracks me up. Especially since the new form of a Trapper Keeper for mom seems to be the coupon binder that I have yet to embrace. 🙂

    Your latest comment on my blog really spoke to my heart. Thank you Audra.

    • Anytime sweet lady! I’m loving Safeway right now, they have the JustforU program. I pull the coupons down from my computer every week. No more clipping, remembering, expiring, etc. BUT, that means no need for a TK either!

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