A box is left outside the door. Maybe for me, maybe for Kim, or maybe for one of the girls.
I bring it inside. Oh, it's for me. Cool.
Before I can open it, Maggie is at my side pressing up against me looking to see who it's from, who it's for, and what might be inside.
It's a book. I'm happy and after a glance at the book and an inquisitive look at me for my approval, she's happy.
She can get busy playing with the packing material. If it's the plastic bags or little plastic strips of trapped air she starts popping them. If it's styrofoam peanuts or popcorns, she gets busy breaking them up or moving her hand back and forth through them.
She wanders off back to the computer. I leaf through the book while absent mindedly playing with the packing material left behind.
It's the same when we order something for Maggie. She loves the present we have sent to her, but she always takes the time to play with the packing material.
All that time that I wanted to grow up to be a teacher or a doctor or an astronaut – I should have set my sites on growing up to be styrofoam peanuts. Sure, there's still time. Grad school wasn't a waste – but where do you go to learn how to be packing material.
I want to be the stuff that keeps the important stuff safe and looking good. I want to be the stuff that kids look forward to, no matter what's in the box. I want to be the stuff that you get and could use – if you wanted to – when you send more stuff on to someone else. I want to be able to hang out with my other styrofoam peanut friends adapting to the different shapes and situations.
I want to be there when the shipper carefully packs the gift and sends it off. I want to be inside the box safe while traveling to a place I can't even imagine. Kept in the dark, I'd hear and feel the bumps of the road and the thump of being tossed up onto the loading dock. I'd hear the truck and feel the plane. I'd land safely and be scanned along with my buddies as I rushed to the next distribution point.
Then it will be time for delivery. The final bump as me and my buddies land on a table. Oh the light. After all that time in the dark, I would squint against the oncoming onslaught of daylight as I hear the tape being pulled from the box. For a moment I'm brushed aside as the gift is removed from the box. It's always great to see the look of delight on the recipient's face.
It's been a long trip. I'm feeling a little stiff. Would you mind cracking my back?
A hand reaches into the box and absent minded brushes by me on the way to cracking my neighbor in half. Sounds refreshing – not brutal. Oh good. I'm next. Ahhhhh.
You can study to be a lawyer or a firefighter or whatever. Me, I'm working on becoming a packing peanut. Not literally, of course.