Writer’s Note: After writing this little story about “The Empty Box,” I realized that it is not only a wonderful comment on the imagination of children, it is a metaphor for life. If your “box” is empty, you can take a hint from a two-year old.
The Empty Box
I can remember how, in lean years, when it was Christmas time, my older children received gifts of more monetary value; and the ones too young to know the difference received cheaper gifts; so I can applaud the decision of my son and wife to cut back on Christmas gifts for their two-year-old last year. That little girl got a whole lot of Christmas anyway when you factor in her “Grandma and Grandpa” gifts. Yet I was a little surprised when the main gift under the tree—a huge box—turned out to be just that—a huge box.
Don’t get me wrong; I knew the little one would get a kick out of the box. Children always like big boxes; but I thought her parents should have given the plain brown cardboard a coat of white paint, with a little painting of a window here and there or something. I was wrong. I thought she would play with (or in) the box for two or three days and then it would be thrown away. Wrong again.
I have since seen the box be a house, a doghouse (when my granddaughter decided to be a puppy), an airplane and a cave. Yesterday my granddaughter said, “I have a car and you have a car.” Thinking she meant that her parents had a car, I asked, “What color is your car?” Her answer: “Box colored.”
So there you have it. When you’re under three years old, there is no such thing as an empty box. Every box is full of endless possibilities.
Read more articles, stories and poems by Betty Killebrew at: www.trovemagazine.com