Family Life


When my sons were in elementary school, their teachers would typically mark the 100th day of class by gathering 100 items together in a collection.

Sometimes, the students brought the items; sometimes, I’d know nothing about it until I asked my sons about their day at school. The school-supplied items were typically pencils or raisins or M&Ms. On the occasions when we were asked to supply 100 somethings, we chose pennies or LEGO.

I was always a little surprised at the weight of 100 pennies, holding up the plastic bag as we counted them out several times (just to be sure we really, truly had 100, not 98 or 99 but 100). With the LEGO, the weight wasn’t significant, but the sizes and shapes created a sort of plastic salad, clicking and clacking together in a colorful pile.

My boys and I would marvel at how many is 100, and I’d be reminded that it’s a lot but not actually that many, not in the big picture. An age that most of us won’t reach but a little less than one-third of one year. A lot of pennies but not a lot of money. Enough LEGO to make a collection but not enough to build a castle.

I woke up this morning thinking about 100, the tactile memories and numerical implications. It’s something interesting to contemplate, while I sit and sip in the early hours of this day.

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