On the last day of school, the kids cleaned out their desks and put everything into their backpacks to bring home. This is always the fun time of the year when I get to see all of the supplies I bought at the start of the year, some of them barely touched, and others trashed.
As we were walking into the house, Mira was visibly having trouble carrying her backpack. “Do you need some help with that?” I asked.
“Um, yeah, maybe,” she replied.
I smiled at my youngest daughter, expecting that it was mostly an act to get my help. It’s possible her backpack was a little heavy, but probably not that much. Mira likes to exaggerate.
I reached out and grabbed one of the backpack straps, and then she let go.
The backpack hit the ground. It was much heavier than I expected!
I applied a little more effort and lifted it again. “Wow, Mira, what are you carrying in this thing? A box of rocks?”
Mira went wide-eyed and said in her most exasperated tone, “Whaaaat? We had to clean out our desks! It’s everything from my desk!”
I was imagining that she’d been hoarding books and art projects in her desk all year long to produce a backpack that weighed this much. But I set it aside and didn’t think about it for a little while.
And then I cleaned it out.
After pulling out a few things, I grabbed a box to contain the contents of her backpack. This was everything that was in it:
Papers, supplies, notebooks, her school yearbook (I wondered why we only received one!), her art shirt, etc. It’s no wonder it was so heavy. She had papers from as far back as October in there.
But wait, it gets better. That little pink box that was supposed to hold her pencils? Here’s what it held:
She really did have a box of rocks in her backpack. Apparently it was her rock collection from school.
Next year’s rule: school rocks will stay at school.