There are few things as promising as a simple cardboard box. The possibilities are endless.
By JIM COSGROVE
Special to The Star
It can be a fort, spaceship, banquet table, boat, cabin, castle or cave. It can be a limousine used to drive your stuffed animals to dinner with the queen. You can hide in it. Sleep in it. Eat in it. And, I suppose if you wanted to you could store some stuff in it.
Kids know the enormous potential of an empty box, and they see it for what it really is the best toy ever! Or, in my daughters case, the best friend ever.
We moved into a new house two months ago, and for the weeks leading up to that monumental event and in the weeks since, boxes have infested our lives.
When our 6-year-old saw how much fun my wife and I were having playing with all of those boxes, she wanted one of her own. She adopted a sizable, sturdy carton and promptly named it. In marker, along one of its sides, she wrote, Hi. I am Jon the box. Please dont take me.
She crammed all of her stuffed animals into the comforting protection of Jons cardboard walls. Then she unpacked them. She drew on Jon and talked to him.
Sometimes he talks to me, she whispered. He says, I love you. Never take me away from this great life. Then she climbed into Jon and closed the flaps. She loves a good drama.
Jon made the trip over from the old house and currently gets shuffled from room to room in the new house. I have caught myself referring to our adopted box as him, which pretty much means hes become part of the family.
Moving from one home to another is stressful, exciting and emotionally charged all at once. While we were thrilled for a change and a new environment, we were sad to be leaving so many memories behind. It was hard on our girls, too. They didnt have to change schools, but we moved out of the only house and neighborhood theyve ever known.
Its a good thing that Jon was there to help us cope with the change in a way that only a box can. Although Ive tripped over him in the dark and cursed him, there are a few bits of wisdom that Ive learned from Jon the box
• Sometimes you need a quiet place to hide out a retreat to shut out the din of the madding crowd and let your thoughts run free.
• Creating order is comforting, as in having a reliable place to store your memories.
• Theres power and promise in a fresh, clean canvas where you can cut loose and create.
• We all need a sturdy, dependable friend who listens more than talks, even if he is a little square.
To reach Jim Cosgrove, aka childrens performer Mr. Stinky Feet, send email to jimcosKC1@gmail.com.