We all have them. Those little things we count as precious. Some are valuable because of their price. Others because of who gave them to us or how we came to find them.
Munchkin has a new treasure box.
It's an empty Roses Chocolates Box. Shiny blue, just the right size for small hands to cart around. A catch on the top that he can (usually) do up on his own.
He needed one.
We had a growing collection of small things that had no home.
Several ciccada shells.
Half a dead bumble bee (because Mummy made sure he had the part that couldn't have an old stinger attached).
Various empty snail shells.
Some interesting seed pods of varying shapes and sizes.
I handed him the box as a short-term occupier, thinking he might pop a few things in there (most probably cars) before shredding it or squashing it. Nope. He loves it! It is now his treasure box. When we come home with more little things now, they have a home to go straight into. He loves to take them out and look at them, then pop them all back in. Mummy loves having somewhere to keep these tiny things so they don't get left littered all over our house. Mummy loves encouraging Munchkin to have treasures. His love of the outdoors, of exploring, of investigating, these are all things to be honoured, to be honed, to be encouraged. But it is nice to have somewhere to keep all the things so that guests don't get too terrified arriving at our house and we don't spend all day trying to avoid standing on a snail shell that's been left on the lounge floor.
Some of you, my dear readers, may wonder why I allow my son to bring home ciccada shells. To play with slugs and snails. To stop and poke at sticks and stomp on dirt when we are meant to be out walking. And I do admit, some days it takes all the patience this Mummy can muster to just let him be, let him see and feel and experience for himself without spending the entire day hurrying him from one thing to another. Sometimes I do hurry him. Sometimes far too much. My own agenda deciding the things we can or can't do today.
I remember another child, years ago. She came home with things in her pockets all the time. Butterflies. Seeds. Shells. Pretty stones. Sticks and leaves and flowers. Once, her mother couldn't work out why the house smelt so bad. It reeked. Like cat pee! Then she found them. A whole collection of eucalyptus seed pods carefully tucked into a small girl's jacket pocket. Treasures found and kept. They stank. They sadly had to go, after a discussion with the small girl about smelly things not being a good idea to bring home as treasures.
That little girl was me. And now I am the Mummy, so I'm trying to remember what it was like, this almost compulsive need to carry things in your hands, feel the smooth texture of that rock or the rough bark of that stick, to stop and listen to the birds, or find the helicopter you can hear in the sky. I'm trying. Sometimes I don't get it. Sometimes I am too much an adult and in too much of a hurry. But every now and then I do. I remember. I enjoy. And when I look at my son's treasure box, I am proud. This is my son. These are my genes at work here. And it's a good thing, a beautiful thing.
We found another ciccada shell this morning.