Snips And Snails

When A Box Is Not A Box

When you are four, a box is not a box, but a boat, and you are a pirate braving the high seas.

When you are 14, a box is where you stash your childish treasures, hiding them away from the world under your bed.

When you are 24, a box is how you haul your dreams out of your parent’s house and into your own.

When you are 34 a box is a small and mostly uncomfortable space that the world has molded you into. It is so small your dreams have to be crushed into dust and sprinkled on top.

When you are 44, if you are lucky, your dreams have come true in spite of the  world and a box is a boat again, for you and a little pirate boy, braving the high seas.

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40 thoughts on “When A Box Is Not A Box

  1. I love that the pirate also has a golf club, a guitar and a basketball in his boat. You just never know when you may need to morph into a rockstar-basketballplayer-at the country club kind of dude!

  2. Mary, I think he gets his organzing skills from mother. You open a drawer at my mom’s house and it is the most unlikely collection of bizarre and unrelated items.

  3. In my case a box is something that’s still to be unpacked even though we moved into this house four years ago. I did have a 5 month old at the time though so I’m excusing myself. I should unpack it as it’d make a great boat.

  4. AAH YES, Thank you for reminding me I really don’t wanna be 34 ever again! I’ll even take 44 over 24! Right now, our boxes and laundry baskets are SLEDS. And the contents of our sleds are as thoughtfully chosen as the contents of your pirate ship. It’s an art, you know, the having of the exact right thing at the right time. You just never know when you’re going to need a 2 ft long piece of red and silver ribbon in a driving blizzard. Or a book about Clifford. Or a very tiny whisk.

    That is one mighty happy lookin’ pirate you have there. Yo Ho Ho!

  5. I kinda miss the days where things were simple enough that all you needed was a box (and guitar, golf club and basketball) and you were ready to take on the world. Seems like I “need” a whole lot more boxes these days.

  6. Oh, that’s cute. People keep telling me that Anja will be perfectly happy with just a box and a pot and a wooden spoon for toys. While I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, I remember loving such items when I was small. So why wouldn’t she?

    So easily pleased…for awhile anyway…’til he realizes you’ve been recycling his Christmas presents. HA!

  7. That is an astute observation Quirky. You know you’re getting older when you need a lot more boxes. And as my cheerful husband just pointed out, ultimately you end up in a box.

  8. When you’re 94 your box will be full of beautiful memories of your son and his family. I loved your meaphors. I’m going to think of my boxes as gifts that I’ve been given to strengthen and build me. They haven’t all been tied with pretty bows, but I’m grateful nonetheless.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

  9. Heartbreaking and heartwarming. All too similar to my own journey. I’m 44 too, with a four-year-old son who came (a surprise) after ten years of hoping.

    In my late 30s, I dreamed repeated dreams about breaking out of a box-like structure; in the last one, I was seated on a bicycle just inside an open door, and the grassy road in front of me curved away after a few feet, and I was rolling.

  10. This is my first visit to your blog… I LOVE your thoughts on boxes.
    I’m a rubbermaid girl myself… never really kept boxes around as they don’t respond well to dampness… so the question now is, what metaphor can be drawn from this? Just a silly question from another Mommy!!

  11. Great post. My kids played for an hour in a box today. After Christmas they played in one of the boxes their toys were shipped in for literally 2 weeks. We had to retape it together 3 times. It is safe to say that box got 10 times the use as any of the toys that came in it.

  12. One thing is for sure , at my house a box is NEVER to be simply thrown out or recycled. It would rescued by my little girls , accompanied by an expression of “what were you thinking?!?!” Then it becomes a cave for my little wild animals to cuddle, hibernate, and serve tea in.

  13. Perfectly put!You have a wonderful way of capturing thoughts and turning them into poetic imagery with your writing. And I am so glad you dreams cannot even fit into a box! Too cute. jean

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