As a parent of two small children under the age of five I have been forced to accept certain things about life. One of those things is that children and random small tiny pointless objects that have no apparent value will always find and cling to each other and clutter my home and clog my vacuum. I’ve stopped fighting it, and I’ve surrendered, instead trying to join them in their obvious and impervious fascination and glee over these teeny tiny “giblets” (jib-lets) as we so fondly call them.
Brass Buttons, old coins, sea-shells, smooth sea glass, forgotten bottles, banged up boxes, figurine animals, gem stones, bottle caps, and old keys to no-where. The tinier their treasure, the more delighted their reaction. When they come home from a day of adventure and tumble in over each other in an effort to excitedly empty their grubby fists full of do-dahs for my review I “ooh” and “ahh” and marvel at their clever finds and broken bits and baubles. They look at me with the shining eyes of utter joy, and I am four again remembering the magic and wonder of tiny things. The little something’s that make that part of my children’s day complete however are truthfully only momentarily appreciated by me, and replacing the fleeting joy is a deep resentment as their luster dulls to resemble clutter and junk on counters, in drawers, and displayed on kitchen windowsills. I feel their giblettness stifling my very being as I clean out my car, closets, and garage which all seem invaded by trillions of tiny trinkets.
For the past few months I have been collecting these little treasures
in ball glasses and small boxes, not really knowing why I was doing it.
I would examine each piece and look at the precious object knowing the
effort to be free of them was futile.
I have collected the beads, baubles, buttons, necklaces, plastic tokens, figures, and broken bits and I’ve photographed them. The colorful glass container of them has inspired me, and I’ve finally decided to make art as a peace offering to the god of small things. Maybe by doing so they will live more significantly, or perhaps as a collective community of bits of brokenness that combined, make a more impactful, strong and compelling statement about their true place and significance in the universe, our lives and in the lives of my children.
My other suggestions for my readers who may also find themselves surrounded by small things:
- Take all the trinkets and devise an elaborate treasure hunt. Wrap little sacs of treasures and bury or hide them in various X spots on the treasure map you hand them. They will thoroughly enjoy rediscovering their precious things
- Gather some Mason Jars in different sizes and keep the tiny items contained as if on display for all the world to see and use it as a conversation piece when people visit.
- Make artwork, sculpture or shadow boxes of the items so that their usefulness extends into the creative realm.
- Use buttons, beads, and coins for simple mathematical lessons or make your very own board game and use the trinkets as the pawns to be moved as the game progresses.