I am overly fond of collecting things.
There were My Little Ponies. Garfield comics. Beanie Babies, of course. Once I had one of the things, I needed all of them to go with it.
My mother tried to focus me sometimes. For a little while I tried collecting little ceramic animals. At the store, I picked up a whale, an otter, a racoon…
“Why don’t you try collecting certain ones?” my mother asked me. “Just collect the ocean animals.”
I paused, my stomach twisting. I did what she said, because it was logical, because she was right. But it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I wanted them all.
I’m an adult, now, and I still feel it. My sister-in-law bought me a Disney Starbucks “I Am Here Mug” for my birthday once, the EPCOT one. I love it, just like she knew I would. But there’s a little twinge in my heart when I look at it. Because I don’t have the rest of them.
And I need them.
My daughter is barely 1 and 1/2. She doesn’t understand that certain things go together. But she’s beginning to gather. This past week she picked up every little acorn she found on her grandparents’ porch, and toted them around the house in greedy little fists. She fished through a clear vase full of sea glass, picking out only the deep dark blues. She is beginning to collect, and even though I fear for the space in our already overly-cluttered little house, but I’m also excited by this new part of her personality she’s showing, this little girl who is so amazing and special and yet sometimes just like me.