A few weeks ago, the stump of a tree we had removed became home to a colony of mushrooms. The mushrooms were so large and numerous that an entire race of hookah smoking caterpillars could have been living in our front yard. As tempting as it was to touch the velvet-like tops and the lace-like undersides, I asked the children not to touch the mushrooms.
Then, Doug aerated the yard. The mushrooms were sliced, chopped, grated, and scattered in every direction. It was simultaneously sad and silly. I made a mental note to expect a new crop of mushrooms in the spring.
While cleaning the Christmas explosion, I opened a small metal lunchbox in the 9-y-o’s room and found it filled with the mechanically chopped mushroom bits. I have difficulty embracing my children’s need to collect things that do not belong indoors. I closed the lid on the box and decided to ignore the mushrooms for a day before discussing their future with the 9-y-o.
Several days later, the 9-y-o approached me with the box in her hands and a sour expression on her face. The mushrooms that I had forgotten were now in pools of foul smelling liquid.
“I don’t think I want to collect mushrooms any more.”
I learned something, too. Sometimes, procrastination solves the problem.