Today was Lillian’s second-last day at child care. I arrived to pick her up as usual at about ten to six. She was holding a plastic cup quarter-filled with nondescript pebbles, small pieces of chalk, bits of bark and other worthless items which somehow seemed worth picking up and keeping.
“She likes to collect stuff,” said Mitra, one of the carers who has known Lillian for maybe 3 years now.
Meanwhile Lillian dragging me away. “Come and look, Daddy!”
She had been chasing those floating spiky golf-ball-sized seed thingys, which she calls fairies. When she caught one, she put it with others underneath the leaves of a geranium plant. She proudly showed me her stash.
We rode home, with Lillian holding tightly her plastic cup. When we got home, she put it down and promptly forgot about it. In a few days, I’ll put it in the bin, and she’ll never notice. She’ll be off collecting other things.
Such as caterpillars. The ones she collected off the cabbages at the farm last weekend, and brought home in a jar with holes in the lid and a few cabbage leaves inside, have now spun cocoons for themselves. Though some have been attacked by ants already.