The Box

Life can be simple, complex, or somewhere in between, but it always has a lesson to teach us. Some are passed down to us through our parents, such as money doesn’t grow on trees. We are lucky enough to learn a few through close calls, “warning shots” that teach us through a mistake that could have been. But the worst kinds are learned “the hard way.” It is in these lessons that life has a funny little way of giving us a kick in the butt, when we aren’t paying attention. In my early childhood, life gave me an unexpected kick in the behind that I wouldn’t soon forget.
I was an inquisitive young child, who was easily amused with doing things to get on my parents last nerve. I was four, and still a child with my imagination running on full speed all day. Naturally, when I saw an empty laundry basket next to the stairs, I got a fantastic idea. Slide down the stairs, riding the laundry basket? Sounded like a great idea at the time. I ran downstairs in a hurry. Checking for my mom, she was half-asleep watching TV, not me - perfect. Sprinting back upstairs I was filled with excitement and giddiness that only a child could feel. I figured that I had just created my very own at home roller coaster. So I grabbed the plain white basket with holes in the side and headed for the stairs that seemed to be calling to me. I was sprinting, because I was eager to get going before my mom came to stop me. At the top of the stairs, I loaded myself into my vehicle, tested out the sides, and made sure it slid well across the newly carpeted stairs.
Looking down the top of the steps was very intimidating. It seemed to be longer and steeper than it had before. And yet, with one full shove I was off. The wind began to hit my face, the stairs rumbled my makeshift cart, and somewhere in the distance I could hear the quiet hum of the TV show my mother was watching. Flying down the first few stairs was just like I had imagined; it wasn’t until the middle of my adventure when the speed began to get out of control. Finally I fully thought through my endeavor. I thought of how the stairs suddenly stopped and how the wall was a mere two feet from the bottom step. Filled with panic, I reached out to try and grab one of the wooden posts that held up the banister. Needless to say, my ride came to an abrupt end. Still in a daze from the crash, I got up, only to see my mother rushing over to make sure that I was ok. She gave me a few Barbie bandages and kisses to make me feel better.
?While my adventures and being easily amused might seem like the typical life of a young child trying to discover themselves, there was a lot going on in my word that the public could not see. I was facing the most dreadful emotional change any child would fancy to endure. No, my mother didn’t hide the basket and tell me I couldn’t play inside the house anymore. She made a decision much more sophisticated, and this decision changed my life forever. Mom gave up her parental rights, as she put me and my siblings up for adoption. I became anti-social and I felt like the very life that seemed to be so eventful was coming to an immediate end. I had no idea what was going on, and my inquisitive mind was now filled with apprehension and sacrifice. Shortly afterwards I found myself packing my favorite dolls, dvd’s, games, and books into this empty white box. Petrified and uneasy, I slowly began packing the few clothes that I had in my dresser into the other empty box. Then I began to wonder why I am the only one crying? Why is everyone else in the house watching me pack my life away? The boxes weren’t giving me answers and nor where my parents, therefore I figured that possibly I was taking this too far. I dried up my tears and began to watch some of my favorite cartoons until I fell asleep. The next morning I noticed that my boxes weren’t beside my television, but instead they were closer to the door. Disgusted by the way my parents have been treating me I storm out the front door, with no intentions of coming back. This time my feelings weren’t hurt because I understood that my parents had already chosen a new home for me, and their “goodbye” would mean forever.
Switching from home to home and parents taking care of me that looked nothing like me was unjustifiable punishment. While I can remember my roller coaster on the stairs and eating root bear candy in court; nothing can replace the thought that someone would consider me a burden on their life and put me in the hands of absolute strangers. New strangers quickly came into my life, but one particular couple said “when I saw you and your brother I knew that you two were the ones we were looking for and I couldn’t take my eyes off of you all.” These words to this day have stuck with me and I am so glad to have this, once pair of strangers as my adopted mother and father. I realized that holding grudges wasn’t going to change anything and people really did want better for me. When I hear people say “think outside of the box,” I smile because I do this every day for myself. The “box” resembles the hardships, consequences, misunderstandings, and memories of my childhood that serve as examples for how not to go about living my life. I look at boxes when I receive packages, and think to myself that why the gift isn’t on the outside. Boxes were created to go through the war zone, and serve as support to keep the necessary items intact.
Life has a funny way of giving you lessons, and while I didn’t consider any part of my childhood a joke; I can now look back and see the progression from now to thirteen years ago. The feeling that everyone in the world was happy with “real” parents, “real” siblings, and “real” goals was overwhelming at one point, but now I have managed to see through my childhood and what my biological family didn’t do for me. The world is a constant reminder of opportunities, because boxes close every day for bigger boxes to be opened later.
This experience has allowed me to see that nothing will be handed to you, you must make the best out of what you have, and gumption will lead to a world of opportunities. I still miss my biological family and every day I ask myself “How would mom feel if she could see how her baby has grown”, knowing that she made the change for a reason and I have to show my gratitude by being successful. I don’t regret anything that has been done, but emotionally this is a change I will always have to live with. Besides, one day I will make the transition back to my home state and say “Mom, Thank You” knowing that she had the strength to put me in the hands of someone who could provide for me.





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