red tomten next to a rock

Can’t Resist a Rock

You know how kids just can’t help picking up a stick, they bring it home and want to bring it inside?  We’ve started a “stash it” corner by the front door for these kid treasures, but lately the kids have started pointing out that I do a bit of the same myself—I just can’t help myself when it comes to rocks. 

Mostly big rocks—the kind that have been smoothed by life and are big enough that you can just barely hold them with one hand.  But also striped rocks—I cannot resist a lovely thick veined rock.

Last post we chatted about how wood toys have stories.  Some of my rocks have stories too. 

There is the one that’s bigger than a loaf of bread that my husband hauled half a mile for me (!). (top of the post)

But the rock of the hour today is this beauty.  I’d been eyeballing it at the vacant lot for a couple of weeks—but could only see about the top inch or so of it, and it was at an angle such that it looked like another one of those “barely-too-big-for-one-hand” rocks. 

One day on the walk home from school, we stopped off at the lot (the kids LOVE  to walk through) and I decided to rescue this gem The lot is slated for new construction and everything is going to get ploughed under. The construction guys gave me permission to pilfer rocks.  (And gave me a weird look when I asked). 

I started trying to clear the dirt with my hands, but it kept going down.   E8 (was 7 at the time) found a broken shovel and brought it over “here mama—this will help”.  I took it to oblige but thought surely that wouldn’t be needed.  Little did I know….the rock went down nearly 12 inches.

We finally got the behemoth levered out, and I tried to pick it up.  No joy.  But by that time, it was clear that this really was a gem—gorgeous color, amazing stripes—despite being dirty I knew it couldn’t be left behind.  Time for drastic measures.

This stop was on the way home from school, so my son had his backpack with him (LL Bean original book pack, for size reference).  We emptied the backpack, and the two kids absolutely loaded their arms with STUFF.  Everything a kid normally has in his first grade backpack.  I rolled the rock into the backpack—and it barely fit.  Using the straps on the pack I was BARELY able to get the thing hoisted off the ground and into my arms.  (no way was it going on my back). If ever there was a testament to the strength of the pack, this is it (not an affiliate–just impressed)

There we were with 1 block to walk.  2 kids carrying EVERYTHING from the backpack and holding it together, but barely.  Me with a backpack I can BARELY get off the ground (yes. Lift with your knees.  Thank goodness no injury. This may not have been smart. But I got away with it). Off we go. 

Now—imagine all this from the perspective of an outside viewer.  Two kids, dirty. Carrying by hand all the stuff a first grader keeps in his backpack.  One mama, grubby, obviously struggling under the weight of what looks like a backpack stuffed with a kid’s ski jacket.  The walk home looked like this:  scoop up the pack, struggle 10 steps, set it down.  “ok kids, catch up to me”. Breathe.  Scoop up the pack, struggle 10 steps….all the way home.  This while everyone else was driving home after school; nothing about it was subtle. 

We got the rock home and washed it—and it did not disappoint.  It now lives on the patio among pots in a place of honor.  Every year when I pressure wash the patio I ask my husband to move it out of the way and he grunts about the weight.  I take the opportunity to remind him that I carried it all the way home. 

I end up with a lot of rocks around inside and out.  I have a lovely triangular pair that I found and now use as bookends.

And a few that we’ve bought as well.  These are my absolute favorite vases (huge rocks AND with big stripes!) from one of my favorite etsy makers Earth2Art Studio (their vases are so pretty. And the people are so nice!)

The Nisse (think Danish answer to Tomten) in our house bought a sponge holder like this for my husband last year at Christmas so sponges wouldn’t have to be left at the bottom of the sink any more. (kids thought this was hilarious. I’ll let you guess at the conversations that brought it to fruition)

I’m always on the hunt for cool rocks—do you have any you love?

2 thoughts on “Can’t Resist a Rock”

  1. There’s something about the permanence of rocks that’s comforting, I think. I have a bowl of rocks I’ve collected here and there: one from a favorite vacation, one that was beautiful on a beautiful day, one that sat beside me on the day I learned my grandfather had passed away…

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