I don’t know what’s up with my little boy. He certainly is shaping up to be an eccentric character. He’s not slow or anything, he’s intelligent and he doesn’t seem to exhibit any signs of autism, he just has some peculiarities. Nevertheless, I worry about him. I mean, how could one little boy’s strange fascination lead to the need for washing machine repairs? Sydney psychologists will perhaps never know.
Among his many quirks and foibles, Jessie collects things. I don’t mean like comic books or racing cars which are typical little boy collections, but other things like rocks. The first time I noticed it was when I was doing the laundry, stuck my hand into his pocket to check if there was any rubbish or tissue paper inside, when I discovered bits of gravel and tan bark. I mean, it would be fair enough if the rocks were interesting, like semiprecious stones or bits of curious geology, but he just seems to pick up little pieces of hard rock that have no aesthetic value.
I should have handled it better. I was surprised after discovering the rocks and I said, ‘Don’t put dirty rocks in your pockets, Jessie!’It wasn’t until later that evening, while reflecting on the incident that I realised I should have been more compassionate and asked him why. Why are you pocketing these rocks? What are they for? Perhaps he’s getting bullied at school and carries them around for protection. Or perhaps he tripped and a few pieces made their way into his pocket. It’s easy to make mistakes as a parent, I can only hope that I learn from my mistakes.
Well, the rock collecting continued and when I forgot to remove them from his trousers they caused the washing machine to breakdown. The Sydney Westinghouse repairs company came around and sorted out my machine, so it’s not like the rocks were a big deal. Now I’m going to have to figure out a tactful way of dealing with his other obsessions, like the collection of loose matches under his bed and the clippings of human body parts hidden in his draw. Nothing that a little motherly compassion can’t make sense of.