This I Believe

Nicole - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in boxes. I believe that every kid deserves to have a TV or refrigerator box to play in. I remember as a kid that getting a new refrigerator compared to winning the lottery. My brothers would let me get in the box and they would tape it up leaving me trapped. We’d sit in the box with a flashlight and read stories, or we would cut a hole in the box making our own TV show. One Halloween we made an entire haunted house where people crawled through boxes. I believe a kid who hasn’t played in a box has not fully lived.

Boxes would keep my brothers and I occupied for hours at a time, when nowadays the biggest box kids see is one holding a Wii or Xbox 360, in which all they do is rip open the box and proceed in sitting in front of the TV for hours. Now TVs are plasma screens, and the boxes are so small that they are of no use. When I was little we never had fancy TVs, let alone cable TV. We spent our time playing cops and robbers; capture the flag, or riding our hot wheels around our garage in a circle. To us these things were as good as any videogame. The other day we received a shipment of new kitchen cabinets for our kitchen, and I kid you not there was a box that was 30 feet long, and the little kid in me was so excited, but imagine my disappointment in finding out that it wasn’t a box at all, but three pieces of cardboard stapled together that upon opening is just that, three separate pieces of cardboard, the company hoping to encourage the recycling of the fake box.

The other day I saw an advertisement for a little house, a tree house without the tree, and it was already pre-assembled. I’m sure it came in a large box, but who needs the box when there is a whole miniature house to play in. My brothers and I used to build our own tree houses, with scarp wood and nails and hammers. We weren’t professionals, in fact someone would jump out of the tree and break their arm and someone else would step on a rusty nail causing an emergency run for a tetanus shot. Injuries were always happening in my family, whether they were from rollerblading over a broom and smashing some teeth in on the cement, getting hit with a baseball in the nose or falling off a bike and skinning a knee. These injuries were only some of the things that shaped my childhood. Every kid deserves to experience that moment when they ride a bike without training wheels, play baseball in their backyard, or keep themselves preoccupied for hours with an old refrigerator box.