My Son, The Rock Collector

This reminded me of Sean, until I get the real ones.

Why I am Writing This

Sean, my son, was born on January 6th 1995. Little Christmas they call it. He is as different from my girls as he can be, but in some ways like each of them.

This story is about how Sean became the rock collector he is today, and was inspired by Figment's hub on Mississippi Agates. Sean has been collecting rocks for quite some time as you will see, but it was Figment's Hubnugget nomination that brought me to her Hub, and the reason behind actually telling this story.

In her Hub, Figment has done amazing research into the meanings of stones, and what they are supposed to do for us. In reading her Hub I thought of how ironic it was that Sean was an avid rock collector from such a young age, and that he suffered from some of the ailments Figment described, such as nightmares and insomnia.

When I started here, I had intended to write hubs about all of my family, so that they could get to know each other. Spread out from coast to coast, I have relatives I have never met, and so do my children.

All about Sean

Before Sean was born I was working a full time job and knew i would need child care. A local friend was chosen long before he was born. For the sake of argument, since she has since passed on, I will call her Bea. I do not know if her family will like me writing about her as we have lost touch in the nearly 10 years since her passing.

She and Sean loved each other from the start, but he was not the only child there, and so learned patience at a very young age, and still demands patience even now. He does not like to be pushed, rushed or bothered, and doesn't like it if someone does those things to anybody he is friends with. Like a rock, he does not change.

When he was old enough to start walking to the baby-sitter's house, just doors away, he started finding rocks, and stopped to put one or two in his pocket. His sisters didn't see any harm as they were often clean decorative rocks and no one seemed to mind if he took a couple. He wasn't even two yet.

As time wore on and the children got older, Bea started "playing school" with them while their older siblings were in school. At the end of this session, she would tell the kids, okay, go get your backpacks to put your work away. The children would all run and get theirs, but Sean would sit patiently and wait for the next game.

One day, Bea's sister said, "Why does Seany (they all called him Seany) just sit there when the kids put their work away."

"Oh he doesn't have a backpack, he walks down here." Bea replied.

Well the next thing you know, her sister went and bought my son a backpack! I didn't know he needed one! So now whenever Bea would announce to put away their work, Seany would jump up and shout:"I dot batpat!" and run to put his work in it.

One day, many weeks later, as Bea was tucking things into the backpacks for the children to take home, the strap on Sean's backpack broke, and hit the floor with a thud. She found it was heavy to lift and looked to see what he had in there. It was full of rocks. Each day when he got home, he would put whatever rocks he had found in the backpack, and bring us his drawings and whatever worksheets he had finished for the day.

Rocks

As Time Wore On

Now that we knew of his obsession we started cleaning out his new backpack every day. He loved his rocks and in addition to those was collecting assorted shells, and even some interesting fossil formations as well as pieces of coral.

This is possible because we live in West Palm Beach Florida, and you don't have to go down very far to hit some amazing rock formations. The streets here were predominantly shell rock for a very long time, so that when you walk across a busy road and look down you will see pieces of shell in the pavement.

Whenever we would go anywhere with Sean he would bring back rocks. Whenever we went somewhere without him, we would bring him rocks back. Even when we took him to the Science Museums, he would choose a bag of rocks for a souvenir, rather than the amazing toys.

When Sean looks at rocks, when he handles them, he sees and feels something different in each one. Some hold memories of places he has been and things he has done. Others are a mystery, that he likes to try to solve, how old is the rock, what might have made these marks.

He was so fascinated that I bought him a rock tumbler, thinking this would be the perfect gift. Not for Sean. This bag of rocks had no meaning. A factory somewhere chose the rocks to include in the kit. Nothing like the stones we chose, or he chose, or the ones we found that we were sure he would like. And especially nothing like the ones he found, and was sure we would like.

Fossils

To Sean, those little holes and lines, the fine designs in the smallest seashell, or stone, are the tracks of history. These formations were made by something.

Now, having worked on the road crew of an Electrical Contractor, for the past 5 years, I have been able to bring actual jaw bones of various creatures, found when we were digging. I bring these home and we examine the structure, trying to guess what animal they might have come from, before looking them up on the internet to try and find a match. I know it probably sounds silly, and the guys at work thought I was out of my mind whenever I would say, "Oh can I have that? My son will love it!"

They must have thought, "Poor kid, his mom brings him home skulls and rocks!"

Although he is Fifteen now, and in a hurry to learn to drive, Sean's fascination with his collections continues. He can tell you things that will astound you, because he has an interest in them. He does not get the best grades in school, and hates to go. But I guarantee, the days they do anything involving geology, Sean teaches the teacher a thing or two. For this reason they expect more from him about other things.

His take on it is this:"If those things interested me I would be good with them too. But they bore me. I know rocks, and bones and sea creatures and dinosaurs. I can tell if a photo is real or fake, and I can tell if someone is lying to me. Just because I am not interested in rainbows or clouds or averages doesn't mean I am not trying. They just bore me. It is easy to get a good grade, but it is hard to do work that makes no sense. Rocks, bones, fossils, shells... They make sense to me. I can read them better than words."

Mrs. Harvey is a Teacher I know Sean would like.

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Comments 18 comments

Crazdwriter 6 years ago

Great hub, Faye. I like your son...he and I both enjoy the art of collecting rocks. :-) two thumbs up! And love the videos you added.


It's just me profile image

It's just me 6 years ago from Alaska

Fun hub especially the videos, I think alot of little boys go through the rock collecting phase I know all three of mine have done it.


figment profile image

figment 6 years ago from Texas

Faybe.... I just love, love, love it! Words can't express it. I rated it up!!


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Crazd, It's just me, and Figment, I can't believe you are all here already. I am glad you like it. He got mad because I left out dinosaurs so I had to add it. Thank you all. I am glad you like the videos, as I made Sean sit through them to make sure they were alright. He wouldn't even look at any of the others, saying these two were perfect.

I have been working on a web site and was so stressed, so Figment your hub really inspired me to get back to what is most important. I hope soon to be able to replace the baby picture with a real one of Sean at that age.


lovemychris profile image

lovemychris 6 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

I had a rock collector too!

Now we use her rocks to put in my grandson's frog tank!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I love this hub and your son "rocks"!


Rafini profile image

Rafini 6 years ago from Somewhere I can't get away from

I had to laugh at the backpack full of rocks, for some reason it reminded me of when my youngest went to daycare and would stuff his 'blankey' into his backpack. It sounds like your son knows who he is and what he wants - that is something I admire in a person.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Aw, this is terrific! Your beautiful son Sean was from the time he was very little, an amateur geologist.

I remember we had loads of gravel delivered to our driveway, and there were sometimes fossil stones, which my brother David would patiently pick out from amongst the chips of gravel. He had a whole collection, too.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

I can't believe you all got here so fast! My daughter called and said I'd slept too late! I am glad to know that there are so many junior geologists in the world. My brother was always finding coins and arrow heads, my son found rocks... Didn't sound like something to write home about. LOL

@Lovemychris: We have rocks all over the house, ad outside as decoration, not to mention a skull from a steer.

@Breakfastpop: Yes he does rock, but so do you!

@Rafini: Yeah, he knows what he wants. Right now it's to learn to drive, wish me luck!

@Paradise: We used to try and take Sean places where he would find interesting rocks and so on. I went to a Union Picnic, on the beach. He didn't go swimming, he went hunting! More rocks, more shells!


lynnechandler 6 years ago

Awesomeness! Love it! Cute as can be!


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Thank you, Lynne, I am glad you enjoyed it. Maybe someday he'll be a real geologist, paleontologist, or archeologist. He's into all that stuff.


pinkylee 6 years ago

faybe you did an awesome job as usual! :)


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

fun post!


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Thanks Pinkylee, and Carolina Muscle! I am glad you enjoyed it. My next one's not so nice... Or fun.


It's just me profile image

It's just me 6 years ago from Alaska

I remembered this hub and had to come back to tell you a funny- My 27 year old son recently noticed that he started to get a little pot belly so he put 30 pounds of rocks in a back pack and wears it to run every day after work.


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

That's great! Oh I needed the laugh on my lunch break. Going back to class! Have a great week!


Jacque Sue profile image

Jacque Sue 6 years ago

I loved this story about Sean!!!! I have broght big rocks from the beachs in Malibu for years!! and my father was a huge rock collector!!!! I think your son rocks! no pun inteneded LOL!!!!! he knows what his passion is!....wonderful story!


Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida Author

Hi Jacque Sue! I hope things are looking up for you. It pays to know what makes us happy, for my son it has always been art and rocks. Just think, if he combines the two he can be set for life, doing what he loves!

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