Tom has a bag of marbles.
It’s one of those drawstring bags.
It’s not a big bag, but big enough.
He collects marbles, all day, every day.
He puts a marble in his bag when I wake him.
Another when I nag him to have breakfast.
Two more are shoved in when I tell him again he’s late.
Another two when someone pushes past him in the bus queue.
More and more are collected during his day.
Five are collected when a stand-in teacher takes his football session.
One for the weather. Five for the fire alarm going off.
Three for him forgetting his homework.
He’s struggling to keep the marbles in by the end of the day.
He holds as tightly as he can, to keep them in.
Another two are forced in on the bus home – it was too hot.
He grips hold of the bag, with both hands.
He opens the front door with his elbow.
He comes in and starts to pass me the bag.
As he releases his grip, the bag is forced open.
The marbles escape. Cascading around the place.
He has no idea where they have gone.
He can’t remember where he collected them all from.
They have scattered everywhere, ricocheted in all directions.
He looks at me, that was my fault. The whole lot. The red mist descends.
Had his tutor said “Good morning Tom” he’d have given her two marbles.
Had he been warned about the stand in teacher, four marbles would have gone.
The bus driver’s: “Like your hat Tom”. “Where’s your coat Tom – it’s raining!”
“Got your favourite lunch today Tom” from the lady in the canteen. Four gone?
“Forgotten your homework Tom? Need it tomorrow, or email it to me?”
“I wonder if you need a walk Tom? Could you take these books to the office?”
“Tom, we are having a fire practice in a few minutes, will you help me do the register?”
Just checking in with Tom lets him share his marbles out.
Sharing his marbles let’s Tom to keep them contained, keeps them safe.
Occasionally he drops one, he has to find it, and he has to find it now.
Help him look, go hunting, investigate, wonder where he had it last had it.
Be David Attenborough: “The humans are looking for Tom’s lost marbles”
I carry an empty bag for marbles. In fact, I’ve got them everywhere.
In the kitchen, in the lounge. One stuffed in every coat pocket.
Sometimes I forget one, I try to use my pockets as best I can.
There’s one at the bottom of the biscuit tin – that’s mine, if ever we run out of biscuits!!
I carry spare ones, to share with people, in case they don’t have one.
They don’t have to be big bags, just big enough. Strong enough to keep the marbles safe.
Each marble means something, is unique, but they are better shared.
Be generous with your bags, hand out the bags, share the marbles!