When Brian was a toddler, he came home from every outing with a pocketful of “treasures.” They were so important to him. He’d name them, play with them, and remember each and every one. I knew I needed a plan to deal with them before they took over all the clean surfaces of his room.
There is not much this boy forgets, so I knew I couldn’t just make rocks quietly disappear in the night. And honestly, childhood goes by quickly and these treasures make him so happy, so my plan was to just embrace the rocks and acorns!
And so the collections began.
And have been been going on for more than 4 years.
When he comes home with pocketfuls of treasures, he picks his favorites for his collection and the rest goes back outside. (I usually just let him throw his bits into an obscure part of the landscape so the lawnmower doesn’t trip over rocks.)
How this has worked for us:
- The collections helped him start to differentiate between the treasures that were trash and the treasures we keep. He knew he had spots for rocks and acorns, so the random construction nail or plastic trash pieces were easier to let go.
- I eventually let him use the biggest jar I had for the rocks, but we didn’t start with the big jar.
- Boundaries! Brian knows that his rocks must fit in the jar. There have been a few times we’ve gone through the jar and he’s removed some he was ready to let go to make room for new additions. This way the collection doesn’t overtake his room.
Right now I think Brian and I both love his rock and acorn collections, but I think one day I might love it more. He’ll outgrow it, but to me, I’ll always associate them with the sweaty little hands reaching into his pockets and presenting me with his finds for the day. Those sweaty little hands that fit perfectly inside of my hand. ❤️
I’m going to let him stay little and hold on to these collections as long as he wants. I may declutter so many things around here, but I definitely get sentimental. I’ll probably request these silly rocks to be buried with me. Heaven knows, I love my little boy.
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