My niece, Lilly, spent the better part of an hour collecting these acorns and then an equal amount of time hiding them in her shirt, too possessive to share even a glimpse. Eventually, she relinquished her loot to me for a photo project and then tore off to play in the park we were in, forgetting all about them. That’s how adults are too, right? The value of an object decreases with familiarity. A new, shiner object or opportunity will always present itself, and we’ll drop what’s in our hands to run after it.

The value of my family will never depreciate, and nothing will ever replace them. So, I’m a squirrel when I visit Minnesota – collecting as many moments with them as possible and carrying the memories back to Washington to provide nourishment in the long months in between visits. Like the time I woke up to find that my niece had snuck into my room and was curled up like a kitten next to my head. God, that melts my heart.

We should all be little squirrels.

little squirrel