They're everywhere in our house. I have several in my car, as does my wife. Not just boxes though, containers of any type: old milk jugs, soap bottles, empty tubs of butter. Jacobi usually gets them from school, but he'll find them anywhere he can. Sometimes, I'll catch him going through the recycle bin outside looking for new boxes.
See, it wouldn't be that big of a deal collecting boxes and containers, if he didn't simply stuff them full of whatever he finds. One boxes is stuffed with pieces of torn up paper. Another has his collection of bottle caps. A butter tub is overflowing with rolled up construction paper. Usually, when we ask Jacobi what he's made, he has an answer. He makes robots, he makes carriers for his stuffed animals, but most of the time, he makes "holders" for the junk he collects.
It's a beautiful thing watching my son create. I love his imagination, and even though my heart sometimes drops when I see his school cubby overflowing with boxes, I would change nothing about my little boy. But...I mean...we have a house to keep clean! We can only have so many boxes stuffed with crap laying around!
So we purge. And there are tears. But everything stays clean for about half a day before more boxes and containers are found.
I bet you're wondering what lesson I've learned about myself from this?
A few days ago at work, we had a tool container that we were looking at getting rid of. The tool it came in had long vanished, and we needed to get it off the counter. I called dibs on that box so fast. It has a cool little self-fastening snap on the front to keep the lid shut, and a handle for carrying, plus it's pretty small so it could fit in tight areas.
FYI I have no plans for this box. I know I wanted it for myself, and I had a hundred different ideas for what I wanted to put into it. I saw a cool box, I snatched it up, and I carried it to my truck so I could put junk in it. Sound familiar?
In that moment, I was Jacobi. Or maybe Jacobi is me? Either way, I realized what a pack rat I can be. I have little junky boxes all over my desk, boxes that looked cool and couldn't throw away, and now they sit, burdened with old credit cards and Nerf darts and chapstick.
Jacobi is my son. He is a constant reminder of that fact.