Jun 29, 2013

Failed Lesson of The Cardboard Box

I was sitting here trying to think of something to say when toys and my mother popped into my head. I am not sure why, but it did so I thought I would write about it.

I grew up in a small, four room house in the country. In that tiny house there were five of us, my mom, dad, two sisters and myself. As you can imagine there wasn't a lot of room for excess. Everything had its place and my mother had some tough rules about what would happen if you left toys laying on the floor. 

Mama would warn us that if we didn't pick up our toys we would lose them. By losing them she meant she would place them in a cardboard box that would then be lifted to the top of a cabinet where it would remain until....well until she decided she would grant us mercy and let us have them again.

Whenever she took that box down from the cabinet it was like Christmas morning. We would eagerly search its contents to find dolls, toy cars, and games that looked brand new. Part of the time we would discover treasure we didn't even remember owning. For a few short days we basked in our new found wealth until our unlearned lesson condemned our stuff once again to reside in that cardboard box.

I really don't know how long that back and forth went with our toys, but I do know I finally learned to not leave my things lying in harm's way. As I sit here looking at my desk I cringe at the thought that my hard learned lessons are slipping into chaos. There are piles of books, magazines, a camera, paperclips, etc. surrounding me like failure. 

Every time I walk into my office I say to myself I will straighten things up, but more often than not I recite the procrastinator's pledge, "I will do it later." I feel like that little girl promising to pick up her toys only to find mama coming toward me with that dreaded cardboard box.


  1. That surely is a good way of teaching children to take care of their things.. i still remember our seventh standard class teacher- Sister Rajni... whenever she caught any student playing or staring at his/her pen, she'd take it away. She did this because we students used to buy new funky pens with designs and bright colours and gglitter and what not and then we got distracted by our own pens during class!!! I used to wonder how could a child get distracted by a pen until I myself fell victim and lost my pen to her... it was pretty pink pen with a small rabbit image attached on the cap of the pen.

    she returned all the pens she had collected at the end of the academic year - alongwith our report cards...

    By then, i didn't even remember that i had such a pen :D

    1. Seems you learned a lesson in a similar manner. Amazing how things like that stick with you.

  2. Awe. this brings back memories Susie. Your mom sounds like mine..Sometimes mom's know what it takes to get it done.. Like you my stuff is scattered everywhere and if mom was here she'd say, how in the world do you keep up with it all. Good Question. Thanks for sharing these sweet memories with us. Hugs, xo

    1. Thanks Susie. I am not messy about everything, but boy my desk can turn into a disaster quickly. lol