My RedDog is a collector. I use that term in place of hoarder because it makes me feel better. He loves to hold on to things, some meaningful, others complete junk. Periodically he and I will go through his room and root out the trash, separating it from the things that have meaning. It think it’s important to help a kid who likes to collect stuff realize what is worth holding on to because the reality is that you just can’t keep everything.
One thing that RedDog collects that I can appreciate is rocks. For the longest time his collection sat in a box in his closet gathering dust, only to be opened when a new special rock was added to the numbers. Then when he was a Cub Scout he had the opportunity to really organize the collection, including finding a way to display it.
He thought an egg carton would be a great display case. I vetoed that idea since I don’t consider styrofoam to be aesthetically pleasing. I knew my mom had an old printing tray in her basement that she wasn’t using, so we leaned it up on his bookshelf and each slot got a rock.
We put the most special rocks – some geodes, crystals, a gigantic fake diamond and fool’s gold – front and center and added shells from our trips to the beach as a final touch.
RedDog loves his rock collection. I love that it is on display. I don’t love helping him dust it, but that’s okay because I want him to know that his collection is important to me. I want him to feel that I love what he loves.
Except for the twenty-nine silly band bracelets I threw away last week. Seriously. J-U-N-K.