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His Clenched Fist

Posted: July 21, 2020

A heart-warming account of a mother’s fascination with her son’s adorable hobby

My son always brings me things picked up on his way home. The first thing I hear when he gets down from his van, all drenched in sweat is him urging me to close my eyes, and dramatically opens up his clenched fist. And there I see a shirt button! There were days when I use to wonder which poor child lost her earrings and tassels today.

Within a few months, my son had a pretty good collection of all sorts of buttons, earrings, beads and even girls hair clips. Though I knew he was fascinated by the beauty of these things – all shiny and glittery, I didn’t mind stopping him even when I knew he couldn’t be stopped.

It all came to one fine day when I asked him to stop picking up things from the ground, then it happened, he was not able to reply or ask a question as he didn’t expect such a stunning stop to his new found passion.

The confused, pleading and voiceless eyes stayed in my mind for many days. Then, he came down one day saying he didn’t take a thing from the ground and asked me to close my eyes, I opened up my eyes to a stick broken from a plant.

The Making Of An Ever-Growing Collection

We both have a good emotional connect as we talk about everything under the sky like friends. So we came up with a deal, I accepted ‘Okay! I’m being unreasonable. You can bring home things but it should not be picked up on the streets while walking on the road from school to bus, not taken from your friends and not taken from dirty things.’

He was totally okay! We made sure all his collections are categorized and placed in boxes,pouches or containers. And he would review once in a while to discard things that he feels not required.

Soon we came to a many collectibles like rocks, flowers, seeds, leaves, sticks, feathers and sometimes dead insects. And few funny collections we reviewed was rolled up tiny papers, threads, balls made of tightly held papers, pencil tips and bits of coloured papers.

My son had all these until he realised he had no boxes to fit everything and decided to let go a few.

A Rare Talent For Appreciating The Simpler Things

All these years, following his interest to collect and save things like precious, I learnt he had developed a keen sense to look into things around, like tiny stones of different textures, seeds of different trees, and his flowers and leaves collection has varieties that I haven’t seen.

We spend our evenings together talking about plants, animals, sky and everything around us, I was able to observe him easily getting involved in lessons when I referred to the collections. When we talked about birds, we started with his feathers collection and instantly he was lit up for more listening.

He feels connected to his precious collections, once in a while taking it out, sorting out and enjoying the view. And he takes up responsibility to preserving his things with little help from us.

And the sight of him enjoying the beauty in simple things is what I want him to develop in life. This collection hobby has gone a long way that he now presses his nature collections and intents to create something useful out of it.

I dearly hope his hobby continues, nourishing his learning and soul. And it all requires only one thing from my end – “share his excitement” when he opens up his clenched fist to show his new discovery!!

I'm a trained Montessori Teacher and Mother of 7 years old. I love spending

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