A few minutes ago, as I was walking through the building, I came upon a giant box. I was drawn to the box–indeed I went out of my way to look more carefully at it. Believe it or not, I’m not even a little curious about what contents used to be in the box–I’m excited to find a box! All that I can say is that for some unexplained reason I felt an old sense of joy returning. I found myself thinking What fun it would be to play hide and seek and maybe crawl into the box. That’s when an old set of memories begin to come forward.
As a kid I used to love to play with boxes. I don’t know if kids still do this anymore but it was great fun for me at the time. We lived behind a shopping center that had a furniture store. Every day there would be large cardboard boxes ready for disposal. This was before those large industrial box crushers that you see everywhere. I would take these boxes and use them in a form of imaginary play.
When I was ready to build a fort, construct a home, or use my imagination, I would go and snag a box. My favorite memory of boxhood fortune was the time I constructed a three-story apartment. I set one box on top of the other and cut holes big enough for me to climb from one box to the next. When I reached the top I discovered that I was almost as tall as the roof on the house! Sir Edmund Hillary could not have been more thrilled! There were other times that I would drag boxes to the creek and pretend that I was building a fort.
I’m pretty sure that kids of all ages have vivid imaginations–but it seems to me that very few children have the freedom I once had to scavenge for boxes and other treasures. Parents watch their children more closely today than yesterday–and they should I suppose. Even so, I would not trade the freedom I had to ride my bike and to examine the trash cans behind the shopping center for who knows what kind of treasure.
If you have a large box that you don’t know what to do with–look out! I might just turn it into a man cave, work shop, or space ship.