In kindergarten, Daughter-Only started a rock collection. She was especially drawn to fossils and other bumpily textured rocks and then to some others that had sharply contrasting colors or unusual shapes. All these she called "pretty" rocks and deemed them worthy of collecting. At least once a day, she would update me on the number of rocks in her ever-growing collection. "I have twenty-two rocks," she would say. And then the next day, "Today, I found three more rocks so I have twenty-five rocks."
During this rock-crazed period, I ran into the mother of one of Daughter-Only's classmates at the grocery store. This mom confided that her son had quite a crush on Daughter-Only.
"You'll never believe how I found out," she said. "The other morning, as we were getting ready to go out the door, I picked up his backpack and noticed that it was much heavier than usual."
Thinking he might be trying to sneak a forbidden toy into school, she opened up the backpack and found eight sandwich baggies full of little stones and pebbles. When she asked him about it, he said they were rocks for Daughter-Only's rock collection--"rocks" which he had apparently gathered from their driveway the previous evening.
"I made him put most of them back, but I did let him take her one bag. I hope that was okay."
It was not just okay, it was almost painfully adorable. When I got home, I asked Daughter-Only if this little boy had given her any rocks for her collection. She said, "Yes, Mommy, but they weren't pretty rocks. They were just regular rocks. He got them from his driveway. I took them because I didn't want to hurt his feelings and now I don't know what to do with them."
Despite his questionable taste in rocks, the boy's crush was apparently mutual. It was decided that Daughter-Only would continue to accept the rock offerings and just bring them home and pour the bags out into our driveway.
This rocky ritual went on for quite a while, but eventually Daughter-Only and the little boy drifted apart and the baggies stopped coming. Daughter-Only was probably relieved, but I was sort of sad to see them go.
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