When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, March 4, 2013


The jellybeans have been calling me for a week now.  I am not talking about the sugary sweet ones that have recently made their appearance on store shelves for the Easter season, but rather the cardboard variety, jellybeans that jeer mockingly from the cover of a puzzle box and rest in 1000 scattered rainbow-coloured pieces within.  I cannot get them out of my head.

You may remember that last year for Easter I planned an egg hunt for the boys, and rather than filling the plastic eggs I was hiding with candy, I decided to fill them with the pieces of this mind-boggling jellybean jigsaw puzzle. 

I thought that once Noah and Will had found all of the eggs, our family would then have a fun activity to work on together in our free time.  My plan started out well; Matt and I and the boys started assembling the puzzle shortly after the egg hunt and at first we were pleased with our progress, as we watched the outer border of the puzzle take shape on our family room table.  After a few days, though, it became obvious that we had reached an impasse.  We had sorted through the contents of the puzzle box, piece by piece, several times, and were forced to accept that two of the outer edge pieces were actually missing.

I was certain that I had been very careful in placing all of the puzzle pieces into the plastic eggs before the hunt, and I was also certain that I had counted the eggs I had hidden and that the boys had retrieved each and every one of them.  After searching everywhere we thought the missing pieces could possibly be, we sadly dismantled the work we had already completed and stored the remaining pieces back in the puzzle box, figuring we would email the company at some point to tell them that the puzzle didn't come with all of the necessary parts, and maybe have them send us a replacement.

A month later I was out in the gardens doing some spring cleaning when I noticed a small object whose bright colour seemed out of place in its surroundings.  (You can probably guess where this story is going now.)  Sure enough, it was a plastic Easter egg filled with jellybean puzzle pieces, and later on in my yard work, I uncovered yet one more.  We all had a good laugh over the missing eggs, and I returned the puzzle pieces to their proper home in the box on the shelf.  That was the last we thought of it for a long while, since summer was on its way and we were spending lots of time outdoors.

Then last weekend, we had the typical winter Saturday experience of Will complaining that he was bored and showing zero interest in the 107 suggestions we gave him for things that he might do.  I finally remembered the jellybean puzzle and thought I would pull it out and challenge the family to finish it before Easter this year.  Unfortunately, the puzzle didn't work to capture Will's attention (he suddenly figured out something else interesting he could do instead and wandered off), but Matt and Noah and I are now hooked.  At almost any time of the day when people are home, you can find at least one of us hovered over that puzzle, working determinedly to fit just one more piece in and cheering triumphantly when we complete yet another jellybean.  Those colourful cardboard beans have a certain kind of magical pull that is stronger than the kind their real, sweet cousins ever held for me.

I had planned to be out of the house running errands and such most of the day today, and thought I would get a break from feeling compelled to work on that puzzle every time I walk by it.  But shortly after the school day started, I got a call telling me that Will had a headache and wanted to come home.  The jellybeans win again.  I am now sitting on my family room floor, with Will surrounded by books and tucked in with blankets on the couch behind me, trying to prove once again that my puzzle solving skills are far better than my plastic egg counting ones.


  1. What a sweet story! One can't always count on those eggs to be found, so I'm glad you found yours eventually, and the puzzle pieces, of course. We love puzzles, but it's funny how some have a hard time getting worked, so to speak. ;-) Glad it won out and hope your son is better!


    1. Thanks, Shirley. I'm just glad that our friendly neighbourhood squirrels didn't run off with the last two eggs, considering how long they were left outside! ;) The puzzle is coming along nicely, and Will was feeling much better by this evening. We appreciate your good wishes!