Here Stuff, There Stuff, Everywhere Stuff

My 17 year old son, Corey, has been gone the last two weeks working for the Youth Conservation Corps. He’s got one more week before he comes home, and as a surprise for him, I decided to clean his room from top to bottom. I admit that it was as much for me as for him, but still I think he will appreciate it. During the cleaning process, however, I discovered some unusual things.


Corey never throws anything away – anything – packaging, newspaper comics, candy wrappers, water bottles, even the broken recorder from 4th grade (he’s now in high school). Every school paper from the five years he has lived with our family was stuffed into a cabinet in his room. Doodlings from when he wasn’t paying attention in class were there also. And then there were lots of little unidentifiable things – pieces of other things I imagine. Is all this hording just laziness or some emotional damage from his past?

Corey spent the first twelve years of his life living on the streets of Baltimore with his drug-addicted, prostitute birth mother. I’m sure he had very little he could call his own during that time. He had to be able to carry all his possessions around with him at all times. Is that why now he doesn’t want to part with anything?

I don’t understand this, but I sure would like to. I don’t even know where to start doing research. Is this a question for our pediatrician, or should I get an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist? It hasn’t been a huge problem yet, and now I will know to do a thorough cleaning every so often, but I worry about when he graduates and moves out on his own.

Am I making too much of this?

Deborah can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Wednesday, and can also be found at Pipecleaner Dreams.

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