When my son was small, he started biting his nails. As a concerned mom, I started researching why a child would do that- reading a lot into it, I’m sure. But nonetheless, I remember reading that people in general bite their nails as a “stress” thing. I was highly concerned because what child at the age of 3-4 would have stress? After all, I tried very hard to create a wholesome living environment for my kiddos. When I asked our pediatrician she disregarded it as him just having found a habit.
Well it continued. The germiac in me, just wouldn’t have it cause all I thought of was all the nasty little germs under a child’s nails. So I devised a plan. The plan included this…
Yep! An old Tropicana juice jar that became known in our HOME as the “NAIL JAR”! I cut a slit in the cap to make it easy for a 3 year old to drop change into, I drew a smiley face, a sad face (representing nail biting) and the actual hand, featuring “nails”, (don’t judge the drawings)…lol! We told our son that for every time he didn’t bite his nails, we would put money in the jar. It actually worked!!! It also helped that my son thought a lot about $ back then. When he quickly saw the jar accumulating all those coins and the fact that he would be able to buy whatever he wanted with his money – he was totally on board and encouraged. After several months, his nail biting habit was gone forever! Who knew an old Tropicana juice jar had that potential?
After serving it’s purpose, for many years the jar continued to hold any loose change ANY of us had or found. At one point, (after the nail biting habit had been kicked to the curbside), the kids were still young, (5 & 6) and they asked me what we could do with the money. We took a vote and it was decided that throughout the year we would keep putting change in it and come December, we would use it to buy our Christmas tree. So the Tropicana jar became our “Christmas tree fund” jar. It also turned out to be an awesome tradition and just the mere excitement that the kids knew that was what the $ was for—was great to see! Everywhere they went they looked for change out in parking lots, yards, anywhere they could.
Then one year we bought an artificial tree—lame!!! But the jar was still around. It made it’s home on a shelf in our laundry room where it’s now called the “pocket change – laundry jar”!
While packing our contents for our move- I glanced over to the shelf and there sat the jar that probably never knew that it would serve so many purposes other than mere orange juice.
Looking around at all the piles of packed boxes around me – I thought, it’s just a jar and a stupid thought of chunkin’ it came to mind. But then all those wonderful memories, for 26 years, came rushing back and I just couldn’t. So I gently wrapped it as if it were a precious- irreplaceable antique and packed it away to make it’s way with us to our new home. Who knows maybe my son will someday need it for his little nail biter!
Until then, it will remain our “pocket change – laundry jar” for who knows how long! The true meaning of “repurposing” here, huh? And a lovely story that came from a Tropicana juice jar.