When Xoe was a year old, her grandfather came in for Christmas (he lives in South Caroline) and brought his new girlfriend--a super-sweet woman who was very excited to meet Bill's granddaughter. They came armed with gifts. Lots of them.
The prettiest? A gorgeous little white box with rhinestone accents and silver flourishes, with a mirror on the top--perfect for a little girl to store her treasures as she grows up. I knew the moment I glimpsed it that Xoe would come to love this box. But for some reason, Glenda handed it over with a funny expression.
"I'm so sorry," she said as we unwrapped it. "The name's misspelled."
I glanced at the top of the box, where the mirror was engraved with . . . Zox?
Glenda shook her head. "It was an elderly woman working, and she just couldn't wrap her mind around the name. We said 'It's Zoe, but with an X.' So we left while she engraved and came back to this. We didn't have the heart to yell at her about it, but we'll get it fixed.'"
Well, as things often happen when folks live states upon states away, we never got it fixed. Instead, we shared a laugh with them then (Zoe with an X . . . yeah, I totally think "Zox" when I hear that, don't you? Snicker, snicker), and I put the box on the vanity beside one of mine.
For a long while, Xoe obviously didn't realize there was anything wrong with the box. We put in it the money she got for holidays, her special necklaces and barrettes and bracelets, the beads from a very pretty bracelet that broke. Treasures.
Then one day, after Xoe had learned to spell her name, she was looking at the box and asked, "Mommy, what does this spell?"
So I told her the story of "Zoe with an X" and how now she has a Zox Box.
As lovers of all things Seuss, this became special and cute and quirky in our family. Now whenever Xoe comes across a dollar, she rushes to put it in her Zox Box. When she gets a special new necklace, she lifts that mirrored lid and slides it inside. She makes up songs about it.
The life lesson is probably obvious, right? So often things don't work out the way we want them too, things get "ruined." But who's to say "ruined" isn't right? Would a Xoe Box have been special? Well, sure. But anyone can get a box with their name on it. How many little girls have a Zox Box?
Mine does. And I love that she cherishes it. Makes me want to be careful to cherish those "ruined" things just as I do the things that turn out "right."