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Obsessive

Today I took a walk with the baby and my 4-year-old, Max.  He spotted a piece of broken blue plastic on the sidewalk.  "Look, Mama, a treasure!"  He scooped up the glorified garbage and examined every side of it.

I love his appreciation of small, overlooked objects.  It reminds me of a Pippi Longstocking chapter in which she and her friends become thing-finders and dredge up all sorts of beautiful random objects during their wanderings.

And then Max dropped the piece of blue plastic.  He spent the next 5 blocks crying over his paradise lost, until I found a broken butterfly barette and a bread tag by the Vernon Elementary playground. 

Where does this kind of obsessiveness come from?  In my attempts to have him find the beauty in everyday things, have I made him a little insane?  It would be nice to blame someone else, like my Nana who crammed random items in old cigar boxes and refused to throw any of it away.  Or my sister who kept every note and postcard anyone wrote her.  And my husband who, as I write, is rummaging through one of his many dream notebooks, quoting dreams from years gone by. 

But I have to face facts.  After all, wasn't I the one who consoled him by extolling the beauty of discarded hair accessories?

Comments

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Ohhhh I so sympathise with these sentiments. When I am running it's usually in a very urban setting, and I see shards of other peoples lives, forgotten and left behind. A spanish driver's education manual, soaked in days and days of rain. A piece of a CD, marked "funky mix" in permanent marker, with the I dotted by a heart. Yards if not miles of magnetic recording tapes that have been pulled out of their cases. I Wonder, who did they belong to? Do they miss them now? Sometimes I discourage my son from picking up strange found objects because I tout them as being "dirty" but really, I'm just as fascinated, only I'm usually in a hurry. I'm such a bad mama!

Jackson loves finding treasures, too. Currently taking up space in the car is a dried up fern stem, a smooth black rock and a 1/2 deflated balloon. All very special treasures. Until I get overwhelmed with all the stuff in the car and go on a treasure hunt!

Thanks for sharing and sympathizing. There is a cool zine that publishes odd findings such as letters and lists. It's called FOUND Magazine. You can see it at http://www.foundmagazine.com/
--Serena

everett's just the same, as well... dirty deflated balloons (check), pretty barrettes from under the play equipment (check), whatever was dropped into the gutter in the latest rainstorm (check). I think it's just a function of caring about all inanimate things... and I, too, find it hard to pass up a beautifully colored leaf or an odd piece of fabric. like mother, like son.

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