I decided to buy my boys one of my favorite books in the world.
THE BOXCAR CHILDREN.
I love everything about this book: Four sibling orphans run away from their (Supposedly) mean grandfather and make a little home in an abandoned boxcar in the woods.
They find dishes at the dump, they build a dam in the stream to swim in, Henry (All of 14) gets a job as a handy man to earn money to keep the little family in Bread, milk cheese and the occasional piece of stew meat. They put in shelves, do laundry, gather wild blueberries and accumulate enough rocks to make a fireplace.
I love it.
It made me want to live in a boxcar or a cool little house of my own SO MUCH. I had a lot working against me, though. Since this book was written in the late 30′s and it was the 80′s when I was growing up and as far as I could tell, there were no abandoned box cars (Let alone WOODS) in the desert of Utah. I had to settle for ripping out a “Cave” in the massive honeysuckle vines that grew along a fence at my Elementary school. I kept my little, secret house for quite some time. I had a journal, books, a flashlight, snacks and my Chinese jump rope collection stored there in a cash box labeled, TOP SECRET. I made a mat by gathering up long clumps of crabgrass, tying each end together and then tying one section to the other.
It was a SWEET hiding place. Since I really had no friends in elementary school, it was a great place to hide at recess so I wouldn’t be picked on.
Unfortunately for me, the grounds keeper didn’t think that me wanting to live in a boxcar justified the destruction and subsequent death of a very old group of honeysuckle vines. The principal wasn’t too thrilled when she found out about it, either.
So much for that.
I still carry the need to make little homes out of nothing. (No, living in a house built by dairy hands that is the size of a Wheaties Box doesn’t count. Though I must say, it is a helluvalot cuter now than when we moved in 5 years ago.)
So far, Christopher and James LOVE this book. I knew that they would.
Is it weird that overhearing my children whispering excitedly about running away to the woods to live in an abandoned metal box makes me feel like the most victorious mother alive???