I began with the intention of writing about my feeble attempts to explain the realities of Alzheimer’s disease, in all its predictable chaos, to my son. This subject has quickly become painfully relevant in our lives. But as I sat down to begin, it became clear that I hadn’t the will. The truth is my friends, I’ve got nothing. I’m spent and scared. There is no advice I have to give, or tips to share. Honestly, we’re still figuring this out minute by minute and frequently failing. We’re navigating this torrential storm in real time, and it isn’t often pretty.
And that is why, in the hardest of times, I find myself genuinely amazed by the perceptiveness in kids. They can shine light in the darkest of corners if we let them. I witnessed such a moment a few days ago, and I would like to share it…
Upon entering his Grammy’s room, my son jovially hopped up onto her bed asking if she would like to see his ‘treasures.’ Without waiting for a reply, he proceeded to dump the contents of both his pockets onto the bed. He didn’t seem to notice her inability to place his name that afternoon. Believe me when I say that everything that is good in this world was encompassed in that little scene. Watching my child describe each weird object to her in careful detail, and their shared delight over his shiny stones and bottle caps was the tiniest bit of sunlight on a sea of dark waters.
Later that day I cried my eyes out as I scrolled through the photo series I began about a year ago to chronicle what I find in that kid’s pockets. Oh they soothed my soul. Those pictures are a small reminder to me that there is always beauty to be found in the objects and the people we sometimes too easily overlook.
Maybe you’re having a rough time too, friend. Maybe you need a smile or to simply slow down. Maybe you need to be reminded of how life looks through the lens of a five-year-old’s pockets. I did.
Pocket Check: a photo series
Contents: big blue marble, top half empty batman pen, jumbo rainbow crayon, horseshoe crab exoskeleton from recent beach trip.
Contents: fidget spinner, Fender guitar pick, jewel beetle marble, prized yellow bird feather found at school (from a goldfinch we think).
Contents: marker lid, magic stone, Fender guitar pick, and wolf head bottle cap.
Contents: Wonder Woman slap bracelet, Disney pin, broken bracelet tile, and undetermined ‘robot parts.’
Contents: magic key, pink ‘molecule,’ Lego BB8, large white marble, and $1 for ‘buying robot parts or popsicles.’
Contents: keys, blue stone, sparkle die, unknown black thing, and a schilling.
Contents: the ‘Motherload’ flashlight, colored stones, screws, miscellaneous electronics.
Contents: 1 white die, 1 yellow die, jacks, and black marble rock.
Contents: peace sign button, Lego man head, Nerf dart, and grocery store sticker.
Contents: 1 die, Lego, exoskeleton.
The one that started them all…
Contents: pine cone, assorted sea shells and rocks.
And there it is. How wonderful to see that the smallest things, which appear broken and devoid of value, are magical to those who recognize it. May we take the time to continually adjust our view.
A few months into this photo series, a friend sent me a link to a professional photographer who was doing the same type of series with her kid’s pocket finds. Click here for a look at her far more artful and pleasing pocket project. Perhaps you will find the inspiration to start your own.