Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Digging in the Dirt

My son is digging for buried treasure in our yard. Muttering to himself, “Jewelry, rings, bracelet, something. I’ve got to find something so I can be rich.”

To say he is covered in dirt would be excessive. Dusting is too little. Patchy, mottled, spotted perhaps. It’s running the length of his shin from the one knee he is using to support his efforts. His shorts have a ring around the seat. Dirt is sticking to the green ice cream stain on the front of his shirt. The rims of his nostrils are brown.

“Mom, how come I can’t find any buried treasure?”
“Sometimes you have to switch locations.”
“What? What does that mean?”

“You know, change your spot.”

“Mom, I don’t need this stinkin’ shovel. I’ve got a great idea.”

The boy practically herniates himself trying to lift our broken garage door.

“Need some help?”

Enter new pogo stick, gift from grandma for Christmas. “What’s he doing?” says my husband, who is bunched up on a short wicker settee. My husband loathes wicker.

Sticking the bottom of the pogo into the hole, my son begins to pump the handle up and down like a jackhammer.

“Well, mom, that flattens nothing out. Well mom, that flattens everything out. Yep, I just need these three things. The shovel, the clippers and the pogo.”
This conversation would go on whether or not I was present to hear it.

I’m tempted to bury some treasure in the hole when he runs inside for dinner. But what effect will that have? Maybe he’ll think there is treasure in every hole, reward from every effort. It will likely end this activity that has gone on successfully for about 1 ½ hours, giving me a chance to write. These are the things you think about as a parent, when you have a moment to think.

Keep digging Will. The digging is reward enough.

NB. I wrote this piece about 4 years ago but I liked thinking about that day. Especially my husband suffering in the wicker. Good times.

NB2: I just found this quote and love it for this story: "There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure." ~ Mark Twain.