As kids we all loved to play in big boxes. If our parents bought a big appliance we couldn’t wait for them to unload it because that meant the box was ours. And it usually came wrapped in that bubbly plastic which we’d pop for hours.

I can remember connecting a dishwasher box with a neighbor’s washing machine box and connecting them with one of my mother’s blankets (until she saw it).

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of crawling around in boxes playing rocket ship or huddling up in a fort being attacked by Indians. (Hey we didn’t know about political correctness then). And we’d imagine what we could build with 6,7,8 boxes if only our neighbors would just buy more appliances. And we’d watch for deliveries to other houses over the next few days.

Our creations lasted until a surprise rain or some teenager spotted it and for some reason had to destroy it for whatever reason teenagers have.

But anyway kids, like me, grew up and some of them did something remarkable. They built what we had all dreamed about. A labyrinth with tunnels and rooms and holes to pop your head out of. They remembered how much fun it was and they built it. They built it in assorted colors, collapsible, rainproof for the low low cost of $34.95. So I saw it in a catalogue and bought it for my kids. Great, right? Yes.

And no.

It didn’t come in bubble wrap. That’s the first problem. But I think something else is missing. I think it was the surprise of the box showing up in the first place and then you had the fact that we built it. We cut the holes out. But I think most of all it was a secret. It was ours. We made it. We searched for extra boxes down the street.

My kids played in it for about twenty minutes and then they got distracted. My two year old boy played with the box.