Saturday, October 19, 2013


As I'm getting ready for a yard sale, I was going through the overflowing toy box to declutter! When I opened the lid, I noticed HANNAH SHIRKEY printed in black letters on the inside top of the box. I hearkened back to the evening when my grand-niece Hannah was a little girl, and all of her cousins were boys. During a family get-together, the boys dumped nearly all of the contents of the toy box out of the toy box onto the family room floor. The boys started to play a bowling game with a plastic bowling ball with pins lined up against the hearth. They did not want Hannah to play; one of the ornery boys told Hannah to get INSIDE the toy box to get some things and when she did, he obviously thought it would be funny to close the lid. However, when Hannah tried to get out of the box, none of the boys could release the latch and had to call for help!

When I learned that Hannah was in the toy box, someone actually said, "Boys will be boys", as if that were a valid excuse for such behavior. I was more than irate, and I know that I projected my own anger of feeling slights as a little girl who'd been surrounded by powerful boys all of her life.

Of course, I expected Hannah to be hysterical, but when I opened the lid, there she was, bent over, COLORING! I was obviously more upset than she was! She said she thought she might as well do something while she was in there! How cool; what composure!

Although there was no way she could have suffocated because the box is wicker, I still lectured the boys about safety and reminded them about the precaution taken with removing doors from abandoned refrigerators. I said, wearily, "I guess I'll have to rip off the lid!" Instead, Gerald was summoned from his poker game to disable the latch on the box.

President Kennedy was fond of quoting Hemingway's saying that courage was grace under pressure. Hannah is in college now; I hope she always maintains the same grace under pressure which she did while trapped in a toy box!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember Hannah was the one who asked if you knew her grandmother! ML