Evolution and a Box of Rocks


“I’ll give it to you for $2,” the mom said. “I am not carrying that home.”

My husband was holding a box of rocks. We were in the parking lot of our local high school, at a Yard Sale to benefit Project Graduation.

“But did you see this?” he said, holding up a hunk of petrified wood. “It’s a real beauty.”

“It can go,” she said.

Doug handed over the $2 with a gleeful big-kid grin, the one that reminds me why I married him in the first place.

At home he sorted the rocks: some into a baggie, some into a big tray, and others set out in a careful row. I asked him what categories he was using to sort. I assumed he would tell me the difference between igneous and sedimentary rocks. As I keep forgetting.

He said “Here’s my theory.” He held up the ziploc: “These were the first rocks the kid got, the polished kind you buy in a set.” He pointed to the tray. “Then he started collecting all kinds of rocks, not knowing what he was doing, just stuff he saw, or maybe mementos.” He showed me the rocks that were laid out. I saw many of them had numbers painted on them. “Then he started getting real specimens and putting them in geomorphic order.”

“Are they all there?” I asked.

“He’s missing #5 and #8.”

So if you’re friends with this kid, could you let him know we have the rest of his rocks?


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