Not just boxes


We had a new sectional couch delivered from Ikea last month. It came in three giant boxes that have been sitting in our garage ever since. I haven’t had the heart to throw them out.

If our kids were still young, they would have never even made it out of the house. Any attempt to drag them out the door would have been met with whines, pleas and two children hanging from my knees.

These are more than just boxes.

They are castles, forts, race cars and tracks, clubhouses, sailing ships, dance floors, and my husband’s personal favorite, drive-through coffee shops (insert photo). And they are big sanity savers for parents who need to fill a long day with young children.

Christina Katerina & the Box, published in 1971.

Have you read Christina Katerina & the Box by Patricia Lee Gaush? It was one of my read-aloud favorites when my kids were in preschool. In the story,  a girl named Christina spends 10 days playing with the large box her family’s new refrigerator comes in. She transforms it into all kinds of imaginative things with the help of a friend. Every time her mom thinks the box is ready for the trash heap, Christina makes it into something else. The fun ends only when her friend decides to scrub their “dance floor” with the garden hose and a mop and the cardboard turns to a pile of mush.

With Christina in mind, and memories of box play with my own children, I offered the boxes up on our local Buy Nothing Facebook group.

“Whose kids need three large boxes to keep them entertained on this rainy day?” I posted. Within minutes, four people “liked” my post and one person “loved” it. Kindred spirits!

Another asked if she could use them for moving boxes. Too boring, I thought.

Then a local daycare provider chimed in. “I’d love them. The kids love to play with boxes.”

“Awesome! They’re yours. Do you have a way to pick them up?” I asked.

She sent her husband by with their van to pick them up that afternoon. He told me his wife cares for 12 children, and they’d make short work of the boxes. I hope they last at least a couple of days.

As he drove away and I turned back toward my empty garage, I felt some giver’s remorse as I realized that I could have kept one box for myself — to make a cave. It would be a nice place to be, between now and election day.



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