Sunday, October 21, 2007

Boxed and Ready to Sleep

While raising sons, I’ve discovered that each one has their own style. It does absolutely no good to take one boy and try to stuff him into his brother’s mold. If you persist in the attempt, they tend to yell a lot, because it’s not a good fit.
When my seven-year-old, Michael, showed delight over a huge cardboard box left over from an oversized printer his Dad ordered, it didn’t surprise me. It actually brought back memories of when I was a kid. I found a cardboard box on our front porch. No one seemed to want it, so I cut a doorway with a bread knife and forced a chair into the narrow end. It was a child-sized chair, and a tight fit, so in hindsight I realize that the box must have been narrow enough to ship a card table. But at the time, I didn’t care. I sat there in my own space, my own castle, for what seemed like hours.
Now think about your own childhood. You haven’t forgotten those racecar apple boxes, have you? Orange boxes work, too, as long as you pop the bottom flaps out. Holding the rectangle car up around your waist, you’d run around trying to smash into brother and sister cars that wove equally erratic paths around the yard. It was even cooler if you drew headlights and doors on your box. Once I even managed to turn a picture of an apple on the side of my box into a doorknob.
Now I was the Mom, and Michael asked if he could sleep in the box that night. Why not? It was no worse than camping. I figured he’d get tired of it after a night or two.
I figured wrong.
After he’d slept on a pile of blankets in his box on the bedroom floor for three nights, I got him tucked in his bed and started reading a story. After a couple of minutes he said, “Mom, I’m cold. Can I sleep in my box?”
Of course he could.

1 comment:

Don said...

When our oldest was not quite two, I built her a "house" out of a big TV box.

Fortunately we moved later that year, and it got "lost" amongst all of the other boxes. Otherwise she'd probably still be living in there eight years later!

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