Opening our Terramundi Pots

A collection of brightly coloured terramundi pots

We bought our first terramundi pot when I was pregnant. We didn’t know if our burgeoning bump was a boy or a girl – we referred to it only as Bean – but either way it seemed sensible to start saving for the future.

The tradition with a terramundi pot is that every time you have a new pot, you also write down a wish, and put that in with your first coin. So, sometime in late 2008, we wrote down our wish – for a healthy, happy Bean to arrive safely – and popped in our first pennies. It fast became a habit, coming home from work or the supermarket and immediately emptying our loose change into the pot.

Over the last five years, we managed to fill eight pots. We filled each one to bursting, until they were a real struggle to carry. Each one was a different design, a different colour. There were stars and stripes and swirls, pinks, purples, browns and blues.

Three blue striped terramundi pots

Each time we started a new one, we thought carefully about the wish to accompany that pot. If you laid those wishes out, chronologically, they would provide quite the insight into our life and priorities over the last five years.

The pots have already moved with us once.

What the bloody hell’s in this?” grunted the removal man, grimacing as he hauled a box of them up the stairs to our first floor flat.

But we decided they should not make the next move. Now that Bean is DorkySon, we decided those pennies – and they are all for him – would be better off earning interest in the bank.

There seemed little point in hauling them 10,000 miles to sit on a shelf looking pretty.

A terramundi pot with pink and black stripes

So the time came for the smashing. Having seen photos of a friend doing the same, I knew the best way was to wrap them in a towel and bang down your hammer, before unwrapping the towel to reveal the treasures and the terracotta shards within.

To begin with, I was strangely emotional about it all. We agreed to keep the very first pot – a simple cream coloured one with a purple star – intact. I felt too odd at the thought of cracking it open and seeing that first little wish out in the open, because so much has changed since then.

But after we had broken open our first few pots, it actually became quite easy. They gave a satisfying thunk as DorkySon brought the hammer down on them. We worked as a family to stack up the pounds and pennies within, and then paid them into the bank, one pot at a time. And it actually put a big smile on my face to see what we had wished for over the years. So many of them have come true.

A cracked open terramundi pot with coins spilling out

By the time we had cracked pot number seven, and I had grown accustomed to seeing the amount in DorkySon’s bank account creeping up week-by-week, I was feeling less sentimental. When DorkySon begged me to let him break into the last one – or the first one, as it was – I relented, and brought it down from the shelf.

We wrapped it up in a beach towel, which was now brown with terracotta dust. He held the hammer in two hands, as we had shown him every time previously. And CRACK. He brought it heavily down on the pot.

Like all the others, it held a good amount, and we duly stacked it in rows, bagged it up and paid it in.

But here is the funny thing.

The wish had gone.

I was as baffled as DorkySon. His favourite moment of each opening had been scrambling through the coins to find the piece of pale yellow card with either my or DorkyDad’s handwriting on it. He was fascinated by our wishes, and wanted to know exactly when we’d made them – whether he was still ‘in my tummy’ or a baby or toddler at the time of writing.

DorkyDad and I both have a clear memory of the moment when we wrote that first wish and put it in the pot, and there is no possible way it could have fallen out, buried as it was under a heavy stack of coins.

The only explanation we could provide for DorkySon was that the moment that wish was granted, and we were blessed with a happy, healthy little Bean, the scrap of card must have disappeared from the pot like magic. Happy magic.

We are not quite sure what else to think.

34 responses

  1. I love that you kept them for so long and now are almost letting go in some way before the move, I bet DorkySon loved helping break then – and we used to call Kitty Bean too x

  2. ‘And above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it’. Roald Dahl

    • Most of ours we just got in little gift stores – up in Edinburgh and then in Harpenden – but if you google Terramundi there is a website too, where I think you can get them personalised xx

  3. OK, enough of this. We know you can write well. With the above story, I (we?) want to know when you are going to write your first childrens story? I’ll look forward to it.

  4. This is brilliant….. look at all that loot in those pots, Dorkyson’s savings off to a good start then! And where did that wish go eh? Loved this post – brilliant, gripped from the first word to the last (as always). X.

  5. I have seen these pots before but didn’t know about making a wish. What a wonderful post, beautifully told.

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