By Linden Wicinas
Clouds of dust rise up around me and badly graded assignments flutter to the ground. Coughing, I wave away the dust to reveal the faded colors of my childhood. Shelves and shelves of toys and books that I hadn’t touched in years fill the closet. Each one brought back a memory. There was Theo, the zebra who went with me to the coral beach where I met my first and last shark, he was inflatable with red eyes and plastic skin. There were my American Girl dolls, Kit, Felicity, and Molly, who accompanied me to my missions to the moon (A.K.A., the tree house.) There was Go Dog, Go, the first book I ever read, it’s cover ripped and torn and faded from so many readings. I looked at all the shelves that lined the forgotten closet. Then I look at my box. The cardboard walls might just be two feet high and its width could barely contain just one of my old dioramas for the science fair.
How was I supposed to fit my whole childhood in a tiny brown box? I start with Cloudy, a miniature grey cat that came with me to dreamland every night for about 12 years. Making sure she was comfortable I start on the next thing. My mother’s agitated voice rises up through the floorboards. “Lydia! Are you almost done? “ I look at the lone cat in the box and yell, “Just a little more time, Mom.” Finally the box is packed to the brim. I caress Zookie’s knotted mane, the horse that danced with me on the ocean floor (under my bed when the blue quilt was on it) and gently place him on the top of the box. I close the lid and carry it to the basement. I slowly place it in the section named Lydia’s stuff an the dust settles onto it and the fresh box just becomes one more box. Slinging my duffle bag over my shoulder I get into my car and head off to a new adventure. But this time, no toy can rescue me.
Linden Wicinas age 12, did the writing workshop for over a year and absolutely loved it. She is in seventh grade at PVPA now and can't stand that the school lets out after the workshop starts and therefore it's impossible for her to do it. Besides writing Linden loves to read curled up in odd places, cook, doodle intensive doodles on scrap paper, and embroider pillows.