Some of you actually read my post yesterday (my condolences), and many of you commented on my one-time desire to be a miner.
My dad left a comment explaining this odd hope and dream of mine, but since I know most people probably don’t read the comments that follow theirs, I will now share with you the story of me as a miner. It’s one of my mom’s favorites, probably because it proves what a weirdo I was as a kid. I never got why she liked to tell embarrassing stories about me, until I had my own kids and discovered that embarrassing stories are really hilarious and adorable and endearing.
So I am embarrassing myself publicly now because I know that you will all find it cute. Please find it cute.
I was an odd-looking little person, with a mullet and Sally Jessie Raphael glasses and a very painful fashion sense, and I collected rocks. I loved rocks. I picked them up everywhere I went, although my parents made me put them back if they noticed I was taking them from, say, the landscaping of Long John Silver’s.
Which was very unfair, because in addition to hush puppies and chicken planks, Long John Silver’s also had some very pretty white sparkly rocks outside of it.
Anyway, one day as I was perusing my Rocks and Minerals Field Guide, which one of my parents indulgently bought for me from the museum gift shop (we had to read books back then because the internets had not yet pervaded our everyday lives), I began daydreaming about my future, and the huge part that my love of rocks would undoubtedly play in my life. And apparently I skipped right over the obvious careers of geologist and archeologist, and decided that nothing would make me happier than to spend my life in a cave with a light strapped to my forehead, hacking rocks out of the ground with a pick.
So I told my mom I wanted to be a miner.
She suggested that I might rather be a jeweler, if I were going to insist on spending my day among rocks. But I held on to my dream of being a miner, at least until I decided that I would really rather be a teacher, which was way cooler because all my friends wanted to be teachers.
In the end, I went to school to become a teacher, and then decided to have babies and work whatever part-time job I could find instead.
So you can see I was right. I do spend a great deal of my time among rocks– which I find in the pockets of my boy, along with acorns and sticks and chalk and the occasional living thing.
And my life has much more in common with that of a miner– just trying to pick my way through the messes with nothing but a light strapped to my forehead– than with that of a jeweler. Because let’s face it, my little diamonds, valuable as they may be, are definitely still in the rough.
And I’m so glad I’m not the only one responsible for polishing them.
I’m still being polished myself.