Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Me Box

The other day my daughter brought home an assignment from school called the "Me Box", and I could tell it was one that she would enjoy. Each student was asked to decorate a shoe box with images that defined or described who they were and some of their favorite activities. They could use markers or photographs or pictures from magazines. My little one had found some pictures of horses and puppies, a delicious high-calorie looking cake, and girls playing lacrosse. Of course, the puppies were chosen because they were just so darned cute, after all, who could look at those faces and not fall head over heels. The horses were chosen because my daughter has a fondness for horses. She has gone riding a couple of times and once attended a week-long horse school. The cake was selected because she loves baking with her grandma. Finally, lacrosse is her favorite sport, and she has been playing for several years and loves the exercise, the competition, and the camaraderie of it all.

The other aspect of the assignment was to put a few odds and ends inside the box, so they could do a little show-n'-tell for their classmates. I found it amusing that the teacher's written instructions said that the box could not contain liquids or, curiously, alive or dead animals of any kind. Clearly there is a story somewhere about the inclusions in Me Boxes from previous years. Inside her box, my little one placed a bag of beads, a string of ribbon, a lacrosse ball, and some odds and ends. The beads were selected because she likes to make jewelry with her momma and the string of ribbon was included because she likes to sew with her grandma and has already made herself a jacket and several shirts. The odds and ends were shiny and interesting objects that she found while out and about. We have always referred to these as her treasures, and I have been collecting them in her dresser. They include metal washers, colorful paperclips, springs, plastic bits and pieces, and the tops of pens. She has always been fascinated by her discoveries and likes to store up her goodies. So, there you have it, the images and items that my daughter believes define her.

If I were to prepare a box for my daughter, it would include images of our dinners together, our trips to play with her stuffed animals at the lab where I work, our times playing board games on lazy afternoons, our movie nights with fruit juice and goodies, and snuggling together while I read her favorite books. I would have to design the box so that the pictures and items could be swapped out as our favorite and defining images change and morph from season to season.