What we're missing

April 17, 2015

If you are about my age or older, I want you to stop for a second. Turn your phone over, ignore those texts, and just read. Chances are you had pretty minimal exposure to electronics growing up. I mean, we had a Sega, my dad had the elusive "beeper," but other than that, my early childhood was very different from most kids today.

They weren't lying when they said having kids changes you. In fact, it makes you see everything in a whole new way. They make you feel things you'd never feel without them. Today's post is all about a box, and how a 14 month old made me keep that very box.

When I gifted Joshua's concert tickets in an over sized cardboard box, something dawned on me. It was just a box, a printer box if you want to get specific, that I snatched from the office. I filled it with balloons I purchased at Dollar Tree, taped it shut and wrapped it. The point being to unsuspectingly gift concert tickets. After that fun was over, we were left with a measly cardboard box full of balloons. To an adult it's a mess; something that will need to be disposed of. In our eyes, it's "trash," and an argument over who will haul it out to the dumpster.

Penny didn't see a box of trash. Instead she wanted in that box. She wanted to sit in it, dump it over, climb on it. Everything we'd forgotten was fun about those huge boxes our parents would let us play with after they purchased a new appliance. She wanted to play and pop all those balloons which cost me roughly 0.04 each. And her toy box remained untouched. She didn't want the $50 Minnie Mouse airplane we bought her for Christmas. Forget about that Cinderella toy that sings and twirls. She was content playing in this box. Even my thirteen year old brother took a second to acknowledge Penny and the box. He'd climb in and pop out like a life-like Jack-in-the-box only to make P fall to the ground in a giggle fit.

I recalled playing in a box when my parents purchased a new refrigerator. Then a few years later when the washing machine stopped working. I remembered taking blankets into the big boxes, watching TV in them. Coloring the insides like a maniac until the boring brown was replaced by Crayola's finest. Life seemed so much more simple back then.

Why can't we feel what we felt as kids? Why isn't a cardboard box what it used to be? When did a twig in the yard become anything but a swashbuckling sword? I can't seem to recall that very moment all those magical things became normal. What happens to us that makes us see the world around us as anything less than extraordinary?

It's something I didn't realize was lost until I had a little one to remind me. Who took away my imagination? My sense of creativity. If I wouldn't have ever had her, would it be lost forever?

What we're missing...... Truth is, the world needs more empty boxes. We need a creative spark in our everyday lives. It took an almost 14 month old to show me this. We're missing that real sense of what's fun. Fun doesn't have to be expensive. Fun doesn't always come in the form of beach getaways and destination cruises. Fun can be as simple as a free, empty box and an imagination to fill it with.

Chit chat:
What did you used to play with as a child that wasn't necessarily a "toy?" 
What was your favorite thing to do as a child? 

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