Even though my kids are both under two, I still have thoughts about the day that they’ll move out. Sure, it happens more often on nights when they’re both screaming…. But it’s a fact of life. Those baby birds are going to leave the nest one day. So I did the only thing I could think of. I started preparing for it.
I thought everyone knew what a glory box was. After receiving an odd look from my husband in a second hand store, I realised that it may not be the case. In the world we live in, people often move in together before they are married. Are glory boxes even still a thing?
Typically ornate, carved wooden chests, glory boxes are filled with all sorts of useful household items. Apparently, they are known as “Hope Chests” in the US. They are typically filled with items chosen to help a woman start her household once she is married. My father bought my mother a glory box for her 21st birthday, though this isn’t traditionally how one would acquire one. I remember as a child, I used to lay in front of it, tracing my finger over the carved pictures. When it opened, it had a very specific and distinct woody scent. Mum’s chest was full of blankets, or whatever else couldn’t fit in the linen cupboard.
I remember being pretty envious once Mum explained what a glory box was supposed to be. The mother of a friend of mine had started one of sorts for her, filling in with kitchen utensils and towels. When she moved out, she already had an assortment of stuff to take with her. On the other hand, when I moved out at sixteen, I had a garbage bag full of clothes and a journal full of teenage angst…not quite the same thing.
In this day and age, glory boxes are not exactly relevant, yet totally should be. I don’t want to collect a chest of household items for my daughter, waiting for her wedding day. She may not want to get married. What if she decides to move out on her own? However, I do think that getting a collection together ready for my children when they inevitably leave the nest (read: get nudged out the door) is a very practical thing to do.
While standing in the middle of a second hand furniture shop, my jaw dropped when I found two beautiful, matching glory boxes. The prices on them made my jaw drop further (if that was even possible). Mr Zed had heard me talk about them, but had never actually seen one. “This is them?” he asked, as I traced my fingers over the carvings. I nodded, still in awe of the beautiful chests. “Alright, let’s get them,” Mr Zed said simply.
I could of married him again.
“We’re not having any more kids then?” he said with a laugh as we loaded them into the tray of the car. With two matching boxes, I can see what he means. They are perfect. While one of the boxes is smaller, I intend to fill them the same way. Over the years, as my children grow, I want to load them up. I will probably fill them with blankets, kitchen gadgets, books full of wisdom, tool boxes, sewing kits…anything that I wish I had when I was 16 and on my own starting in the world.
What will they need when they move out?
One of the fantastic things about starting now is that I can afford to wait and find good quality items. Handcrafted and heavy duty, strong and well made so that they last them a life time. One of the key phrases is “good quality”. You don’t want to send them off into the world with tea towels that wont dry or sheets that rip their first round in a washing machine. My wish list for the boxes include:
- Family Cookbook
- Cast iron pans
- Good quality sheets
- Wool blankets
- Plain white plates
- Baking dishes
- Pyrex jug
- Measuring utensils
- Tea towels
It might not be traditional. I’ve personally never heard of a boy being given a glory box. From a practical mother’s perspective, it makes all the sense in the world.