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I took my kids to the park almost every week-it was free, it was a great way to run off energy, and it was more interesting than the backyard. We also met friends at the park and the kids would play while the moms talked. My kids loved those outings the best because they got to stay longer since Mom had a friend too and didn’t get bored.

When it was time to go home, each child had at least one or two treasures he just had to bring home to keep. For my boys it was usually rocks, maybe an interesting small piece of wood. Mostly rocks though. I tried to convince them to leave their treasures for another treasure seeker, but I never had much success. I was complaining to my friend Linda at our park date about the stupid rocks that ended up in my car. That’s when she added a new Mom Tool to my bag.

She used to have the same problem with her daughter until she placed a basket to the right of their front door. Every time her daughter entered the front door from the park, she would dutifully drop her treasures in the basket before stepping inside. Linda was happy because she didn’t have rocks in her house or car, and her daughter was happy because her treasures were secured and displayed in a prominent position for neighbors and friends to view. It was totally a win win situation!

Linda also disclosed that when the rock basket started getting pretty full, she would take a plastic grocery sack outside, scoop the rocks off the top, and dump an inch or so into the grocery sack. She cautioned me that scooping off the top rocks is key-kids know when their most recent treasures are missing. She didn’t want me to make that same rookie mistake. Then Linda would take the bag of rocks and dump them in the trash.

As soon as we arrived home, I jumped out of the car and ran inside to scour my house for a container of some type. I didn’t really want to buy a basket just to store rocks. Since it was going on my front porch though, I gave in and found a basket on clearance. And so we began storing our treasures for posterity. I never threw the rocks in the trash though-it just seemed wasteful. I instead threw them into the bushes around the house so my husband wouldn’t run over them with the lawn mower.

As the kids got older and stopped carting home rocks, I came to the final decision to retire the rock basket. I sorted through the rocks though and found a few that were actually quite nice. I dug out a canning jar with a metal lid, and took out the lid part but left the rim. This quarter full jar sits on a shelf in a hallway at my house, waiting for more rocks. When I have grandchildren, I will take them out on adventures and let them bring home their treasures. I will have a rock basket on my front porch waiting to hold those treasures that only children can find. I will sort through the rocks once my grandchildren have gone home to see if I can add any more treasures to my canning jar. I will remember the adventures their dads had and thank our Father that some things never change with the next generation.

I find a lesson to be learned in all my past deeds. In this case I actually wish I had kept more rocks-the jar looks kind of lonely.

Please comment and let me know the adventures you have with your kids and the treasures you keep. I’d love to hear all about it.

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