What A Childhood Box Reveals

SamMy mama has a Sam’s Childhood Box, properly labeled I might add, because she is way more organized than myself. In this box, she’s kept all sorts of childhood mementos, ranging from baby pictures to art projects to field day ribbons (for participation only, I assure you). A few years ago, I asked my mom if I could have this box for a couple of days.

I sat down on my living room floor and spread these mementos around me. I laughed at some pictures, cringed at others (middle school was brutal), and generally felt nostalgic. I found old school projects and remembered the friends who had helped me on them. But the most exciting finds of the day were stories.

My childhood box brimmed with made-up stories of princesses and distant lands and miniature schnauzers.

I want to cry now, as I type this, because I remember that feeling of “ah ha” when I realized that writing fiction was in me even then. If anyone were to sort through my box and guess the future profession of this child, they would easily guess writer. It’s so clear.

But there are large spans of my life when I didn’t write at all. Storms came. Waves crashed. And I curled into a tight ball, trying to protect myself from the onslaught. But in the effort to protect, stories slipped from my hands. I was too busy surviving to create.

I wonder how many of us have lost track of who we once were, before the layers of adulthood covered us whole. In so many ways, I’m finding that it’s the stripping of these layers, the re-remembering of who I was, that brings freedom to my artist spirit.

So what about you, fellow creators? If you were to examine your childhood box, what would you find in it? What would that tell you about your wee artist self?



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4 thoughts on “What A Childhood Box Reveals

  1. Oh, the memories you have sparked, Sam! At the back of my writing cabinet I have a folder marked “Childhood Writings.”. My favorite is a parody of Charlotte’s Web complete with character descriptions and illustrations. (I am clearly NOT an illustrator.) I’d tell that young writer to get that English degree she eventually got, but not to worry so much about how the bills will get paid and write more often as an adult. Come to think of it, I should tell myself that now, too. 🙂

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Ah, I love it, Leslie! And I love that child Leslie was a writer too! Your advice is amazing, and I’m going to steal it. 🙂

  2. I have a box too, but it’s so schizophrenic! I’ve got wood working projects, old play bills from musicals I did (like you!) and tennis pictures.This morning I had breakfast with my mom and she brought up my Air Force days. I’ve done so many random things in my life! I still don’t really know what I want to be when I grow up, but I think I’m finally ok with that. I think it’s God telling me that my “job” will not define me, it’ll only be the source of income to do the things I enjoy, which changes constantly!

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Ah, thanks for commenting Cassie Dear! I totally feel you about having done many random things in your life. And I love the assortment of everything from wood working projects to play bills. Amazing. I also love what you said about things you enjoy changing constantly. That totally resonates with me as I look at different life seasons. Love you, amiga! Mucho!

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