I’ve got my faults, believe me. I’m stubborn, I hold a grudge, I whine a lot. I’m not always brimming over with patience, and I hate making my kids unhappy. But I’m not really into… stuff. I don’t care about clothes, I have little to no jewelry that I care about (I like my wedding ring, but even that, I don’t actually wear it all that often), I borrow all my books from the library and can’t remember the last time I actually enjoyed a shopping experience.
Which is why I’m perplexed that I’ve given birth to hoarders.
Jessie was first, obviously. And I noticed the tendency early – she collects stuff. Odd stuff. Stuff that doesn’t look all that appealing to me, for example, rocks off the side of the road. Little dustcatchers that have no particular significance to anything in her life – like a plaster nurse figurine she picked up at my stepfather’s father’s house after he passed away. She got a dozen tiny little things, porcelain tea sets that make me crazy because I feel like they’re just aching to shatter all over the place. Stuffed animals, oh Lord have mercy – the stuffed animals. Every-freaking-where.
But Sam… my Sam is a sentimental hot mess. And today, I broke his piggy bank. It was glass (why, oh, why do people give him glass stuff???) and up on a high shelf. I was putting something on the shelf, and the pig fell down and shattered. Of course. And the poor little guy… it broke his heart. We had already had a rough morning, after my mother sent home boxes of fruit snacks (but I can’t blame her, I brought them into the house, I know it was my fault). Fruit snacks are like crack to him – he simply can’t stop himself from eating all them. One after another. And they’re utter crap for his teeth, and really, there’s no good reason for any six year old to sit and inhale sixteen little packets of fruit snacks.
So he cried, and sobbed and then Jessie hurt his feelings by calling him a jerk. So he came into his bedroom, where I was misguidedly trying to put away all his clean laundry. I got him thru it, patted his back and consoled him – and distracted him by having him help make the bed. Once his bed was pretty and made, he got out a little stack of books to read – and was so content – and then BOOM, the piggy bank broke.
It’s almost bad enough to make me whip out a package of fruit snacks to make him feel better. But I was tough, and he soldiered thru, but sobbed like someone had died.