Rocks. Everywhere. Pockets, bags, in bed, in drawers, on the floor, in the closet, on the table. Trails of rocks leading throughout the house. Colin loves rocks. I am regularly gifted with a rock he finds outside. No walk is complete without him gathering a few up into his pockets and fists. You know those cartoons that have the dotted line showing the path of a boy throughout his house and neighbourhood? I can literally follow that line in my house, a line made of rocks. I'm not sure exactly what the fascination is, but I do know that it's often an "across the board boy thing" - Colin has several friends that also store up their own rock collections. There is nothing particular about these rocks, no special colour or shape or size. Any rock will do.
Because of some severe reactions to immunizations, we stretched out Colin's schedule of needles. Over the first year and a half he received most of them, but we held off on the controversial MMR shot until he was past the age of three. This meant that when I took him this winter to get the needle, it would be the first time he would really be conscious of what was taking place. The funny thing was that he was so excited! He had a fascination with going to see our family doctor. Anytime he tripped or fell or bumped himself he would always proclaim "I'm sick, I need to go to the doctors." Colin has a little doctor's kit and loves to play "going to the doctor". The kit includes a needle, which of course is not really representative of what getting a real needle is like. I tried to prep him in the days leading up, show what the doctor would do, and trying to emphasize that it might hurt for a little bit. Somehow the notion of pain didn't transfer, because he just couldn't contain the excitement. He told everyone in excited tones that he was going to the doctors to get a needle.
Well, the day arrived and there we sat in the doctor's office. Colin kept asking "When do I get my needle? When do I get my needle?!" The doctor brought out the needle and Colin proudly put out his arm.
Then the needle went into the arm. The look on Colin's face is permanently seared in my mind. There were no tears, no yelling or crying. He just looked at me, his eyes loudly speaking his thoughts: "This hurts." It was a look of confusion, of betrayal, that this exciting moment was suddenly deflated because it was not at all what he expected. It was a look that said "Why are you doing this to me? Why is this hurting? This isn't like my needle at home."
He didn't cry at all - my little guy is tough as nails. But he doesn't talk much anymore about going to the doctor for every little bump now. He's not scared of the doctor - he still suggests going to the doctor for those serious illnesses. He's just a little more selective about it now.
I was watching a program today about a mom of three boys who wrote a book about the experiences of raising a family of boys. One thing she noted is that boys love to go on adventures - hence the constant need to climb and run and dig and discover and go out on their own. She was talking about the more specific things that boys get into - like climbing trees, trapping bugs and small animals, rearranging the furniture. But I totally related to this sentence - that boys love to go on adventures - because that's exactly what Colin's favourite game is now. He announces "Mom, let's go on an adventure." There is no specific goal or destination. The game involves packing up a knapsack with as many toys as can be stuffed in, slinging the heavy bag over his tiny shoulders, and then hiking around the main floor of the house. We circle through the living room, kitchen, playroom and front hall, just walking, walking, walking. But his little mind understands the boys' need for adventure, and even if he doesn't have the capacity to plan a specific event, he gets that there is a journey involved and by golly, he is going to have an adventure today!