What A Childhood Box Reveals
My 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?