Monday, June 23, 2008


Luke and Henry are obsessed with collectables. I’m not sure of the origin of this term as they use it. The first time I remember hearing it was in reference to the half of a very large marble—the size of half a small apple—that Luke found in a stream bed one day over the winter. Luke obviously found this particular collectable, but Henry begged for it and then cried bitterly on and off for hours—hours!—when Luke refused to give it to him.

From what I remember, this ushered in the era of collectables in our house. And what an era it has been.

The boys are always on the prowl for collectables. For a while, the sought-after collectables were tiny plastic spheres that we kept finding all over our neighborhood. These spheres, about the size of half a raisin, have no holes and so cannot be beads. I really have no idea what they could be. But the boys wanted them, and wanted them bad. They each have about ten in their collections.

Ahh, these collections. I bought each of the boys a basket to set at his place at the table, since this is where the collectables always wind up. These compartmentalized baskets are now full, bursting with small sticks, unidentified plastic disks, shreds of colorful rubber and rusty hunks of metal.

I am not a saver. Craig is. In fact, I would go so far as to call him a closet packrat. This must be his fault.

The era of the collectables seems to be coming to an end. But I must admit, as much as I hate the mess and the rubble, as much as I long to sweep the overflowing baskets into a waiting trash bag, my boys’ habit of collecting has opened my eyes to some of the hidden riches just lying on the ground. Where I would have seen just asphalt, I now see colorful bits of potential; where once there was only grass there is now a hidden realm of undiscovered treasure.


Beck said...

This is lovely!
My kids aren't collectors, although they do hoard tons of junk. One of the things we're doing this winter is throwing tons of junk out... wish me luck.

so yung said...

Ah, a blog where I cannot relate to any of the male characters. I'm not a collector nor find any thrill in collecting things and like your relationship, the male of my 2-person family is the hoarder. Along with hoarding things, he hoards his friends - he makes an effort to keep in touch with (some of) them. So I'm going to hope that along with hoarding things, your boys will hoard their relationships too ... not a bad thing at all (as with everything else, in moderation of course).

That said, thank goodness for your blog - an easy way for me to keep in touch being the non-hoarder (translation: lazy friend) that I am.

If you ever find out what the mysterious non-bead plastic spheres are, please do share.