When I unwrapped the clear plastic from around the baskets boxed canvas edges I already knew what I would do with it.
My friends and family knew my obsession well. This was apparent from the sea of baskets stretched out before me as I opened gift after gift at my baby shower.
But this one, this big, bold, durable cube filled with baby toys, a walker, and tiny clothes was just what I had been looking for. I envisioned stuffed animals pouring over its edges, its ruby fabric the perfect contrast to our expected arrivals bedding, already in place.
Against our newly painted grey living room, carefully chosen furniture, and purple accessories its garnet material isn‘t easy to hide. Having left its home in the nursery months ago, dragged out to join the family and becoming a permanent fixture.
Stuffed animals are now replaced by stacking cups and linking rings, Little People and board books.
Rarely are these toys inside.
It has now become a little girls play yard.
The sturdy sides providing shelter from the rough waves as she fights off sea monsters and makes friends with mermaids.
On its side it’s a secret hide out where she can plan take downs on the cat and eat floor dirt.
It becomes the quickest car in the race when Daddy pushes, painted crimson with a number 1 on the side.
This basket empty brings more giggles than it does full.
With toys all over the floor, baby tucked deep inside its canvas sides, squeals echo throughout the house.
The perfect baby gift.
The gift of imagination.