Whew, we have had a busy week! Apparently it is significantly tougher to paint rocks than I thought. Every time they would get one side of all the rocks painted and be ready to set them down to dry, someone would “accidentally” pour a plateful of paint and start smearing it all over the other side. According to the oldest child, "we have to hurry and get them all covered so we can paint the hearts!" Her sisters agreed completely.
It came as a great shock to these kids that the rocks would be adhered to the plates when they dried. And it surprised them that my rocks didn't stick! I tried to explain that globs of paint act like glue, but it was no use. They would peel the rocks free, taking a chunk of paper plate with each one. Next, they would have to peel off the chunks of plate and the paint would come off too, leaving a bare spot. Then the whole thing would start over. We did this little dance a few times before the rocks were decent for heart adornment.
The youngest child declared, true to form, that “we should make a map of where we leave the hearts and then we can go back the next day and see if they are gone”.
The heart concept was difficult for them to grasp at first. Not only was it pretty tough to freehand heart shapes on irregularly shaped rocks, but it was also hard to keep three kids from taking nice designs and making them “even better” when full plates of paint were so handy. I tried to explain that these weren’t rocks they were decorating for their own use, but were supposed to be simple enough for someone to see that they were hearts. Blink...blink...blink...
After a fair number of hearts were painted and dry, the girls were chomping at the bit to go into the neighborhood and disperse the rocks “everywhere”.
We took some stones with us and hopped in the car. First we dropped one near a friend’s house that we knew was having a tough time. The youngest child cheerfully skipped back to the car after depositing in somewhere near the house (she swears it’s visible) and said, “I know they will find our rock and it will make them feel better!”
We put one in the grocery store parking lot, near the cart return. The middle child wanted to take one to her well-check at the pediatrician. “If someone is sick and they find it,” she said, “then maybe they won’t feel as bad as they did before.
Later, the three of them went for a walk with the dogs (who have remained contained in the yard) and their daddy. They took a little bag of the stones with them and dispersed them as they strolled along pathways and sidewalks in the neighborhood.
We've left them near dance studios and restaurants and I still have a bag of them that I will keep in my car. That way we can slip a rock onto a potted plant or pathway or in a flower bed when it seems like the right place and time. Maybe one of you will find one of the stones the girls hid in the pictures above!
These are sweet little tokens of joy, but the best part of this project is that the girls are opening their eyes to the fact that such a simple act can bring such joy to another person. That a tiny blessing they leave, even anonymously, could brighten another’s day. And that is a blessing to me!