There are not many books that I could re-tell from memory. That is not the case for “The Superduper Collector.” My mother bought me this book when I was just a wee little one, and I read it over and over again.
It is full of lessons that I still use today, 30 years later. In the story, a young squirrel collected everything from nuts, to buttons, to yarn. She collected so much, that after awhile she and her little brother could no longer fit in their bedroom. So she came up with a brilliant idea; to give her entire collection away. Once she had given everything away to her friends, she looked around at her empty room and got another brilliant idea. Now, she could start her collection again!
How often to do we collect ‘junk’ that we don’t need? I have stuff in boxes and in various drawers around the house, that I haven’t used or even looked at in years. Why then, do I still have these things?
We organize our house, get rid of all the clutter, and then what do we do? We get more stuff. There’s a part of me, that would love to get rid of everything (except the necessities), just like the squirrel did in the story. The only difference is, is that I wouldn’t want to start another collection.
My son is a collector too. Even though he keeps his belongings very organized, he has all sorts of things that I see no use for. For example, arms broken off of toy figurines, wrapped in string. Bubble gum wrappers flattened neatly for display, on his desk. Then last night, I saw a dirt covered toothpick on his nightstand. It must be important to him, because he placed it right next to his bed.
Then, there’s his pencil collection that I just discovered.
For the past couple of weeks, there have been a handful of pencils sitting next to his school id. Every day, I kept thinking that I had put the pencils away, but each following day they would still be sitting there. So I figured that I was just being forgetful, as I often am.
This past Monday evening, I put the pencils away again. Yesterday, my son came home from school and as I went around the corner, what did I see? Another handful of pencils! So, I went over to the drawer I thought I had placed them into and low and behold, there they were. Lots of them.
“Where are you getting all of these pencils?” I asked him. He answered, “From school. The classroom, where no one uses them.” When I asked him why he’s bringing them home he answered, “I’m collecting them.”
“No son, that’s not collecting. That’s stealing.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. His intentions were pure. After all, he was just collecting them. So today he headed out the door with two pockets full of pencils to return to school, and that’s only the first half of them.
As for me, Spring cleaning is coming up real soon. Maybe I can even convince my son to throw away his prized toothpick.