in my pocket

I know that if we take a walk, and we do nearly every single day, my pockets will wind up full of acorn caps and bottle caps and lollipop wrappers and whatnot.

The boys are fascinated by things that I don't even seem to notice, especially outside. The way the mushrooms congregate in small clumps. The way a particular leaf is shaped like Louisiana. That there are six silver birds on the wire ahead of us, and that someone has left unclaimed a shirt we theorized had been dropped when we saw it in the same spot last week.

At the creek, Hank helps place rock after rock in the gray bucket, each one a beloved addition to the collection curated according to standards only the boys understand.
At the strawberry patch, Tucker finds in fields of green the occasional leaf exploding in throes of gold and purple, adding them to his cardboard container.
At home Tolliver rinses another skull bone from the woods, trying to identify the small dead creature based on the shape of its jaw and the sharpness of its teeth, the likelihood that it ate plants or animals.

On their dresser is mason jar full of caps and corks and bolts and buttons, next to the plastic tub of clean-ish bones. Nature collections cover the dining room table, with a small guarantee the mudroom bench will be shrouded as well. And while I do not claim a mess-free existence of my own, what our home’s clutter mostly requires of me is patience, understanding. Acceptance for other people’s preferences, acknowledgement that the stuff they find points to curiosity and exploration. This focus and devotion will be their ally as they mature into the complex world of adulthood. My job is to allow space for what wants to emerge next, to celebrate their passions, to allow a metropolis of corks to occupy a corner of our counter for four months, to continually scoot the drying bones away from the food prep area. To keep my phone in my pocket and to keep calm about the accumulation and to see the world with them.


rht said...

You and your sister have helped me see the world in much the same way... though I remember more flowers and fewer bones. I hope the interesting cardinal couple that hangs out in our bay bush will still be here the next time the boys visit...

Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,
Are they ready to hunt arrowheads?
Remember those days?


Andy and Jenni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy and Jenni said...

Dad, one hundred percent YES to all of this ^^^