Recently, I had a talk with my sister Rita on FaceTime. We were discussing what value the gift of a rock could be for someone. Other than the usual ideas (i.e. a bookmarker, a doorstop, a reminder or meditation device, a talisman, or even what some may call a "worry stone") she suggested it may be just what a child would need on their first day of school to reduce what is called "Connection anxiety." That feeling a child may have when mom is not there. This idea brought back something that I have mentioned to the parents of young children. This is the perfect gift for kids who are scared of the dark, or who just need something to remind them that their mom is there.
The rocks I paint are phosphorescent and fluorescent for that very reason. A keychain blacklight is supplied with each purchase in order to activate the lumens that show off bright dayglow colors when the beam is aimed at the rock and beautiful glowing colors when the blacklight is turned off.
I vaguely remember as a kid, taking a rock or perhaps a toy to bed to comfort me. This along with a flashlight to read a comic under the covers until I was told that it was "Lights out". Invariably, there would be stuffed animals and other items that served to launch me into lovely childhood dreams.
Having a rock as an heirloom is another way in which a physical object can hold fond memories for a loved one. Connection anxiety can be relieved by having these rocks with us long into our adulthood. Abandonment can be a life-long trauma. The story below is a testimony to this.
A few years ago I was told a story about a ten-year-old kid whose parents had shipped him off to a boarding school when he was only in the fourth grade. The father and mother traveled together and couldn't give the child the time or attention necessary for a wholesome upbringing. Kids usually stayed on campus most weekends and would get to come home on holidays if lucky. That, being traumatic enough, only worsened for this particular boy during the holidays. A homecoming event was not in the future for him.
One Christmas break, when all the parents came to take their kids back home, this little boy was left sitting on the dormitory stairway as the cars were leaving. Finally, after a long wait, a large black limousine drove up to the doorway and parked. Out of it jumped an enthusiastic woman with her arms outstretched, as the driver of the limo proceeded to unload a few wrapped boxes from the trunk. The boy smiled sheepishly, and gingerly embraced this woman who was obviously his mother with the chauffeur remaining on standby, for what lasted perhaps five minutes. The boy opened his gifts as mommy gave him one last kiss and then drove off. The boy sat there bewildered and lost.
The above story is not a fond memory that the giving of many gifts would be meant to foster. Every kid usually wants a bike or Game-boy to keep them occupied. I am not suggesting that these aren't the stuff of a ten-year-olds dream. The connection we feel with our loved ones is what is most important. Having that feeling of being loved and cared about is what every human being wants to some degree. That is... to receive, and in turn, give to another
Small Hand-painted rocks are meant to be gifted as treasures, with every good memory from the past holding its rightful place. It's a simple gift that could mean a lot.
The Rock below is this week's "Rock of the Month."