The kid who got hit by a car, part 2: Kermit comes home

Last week, I gave you all the details, as best as I could recall, about the time I was hit by a car at age 6.  It is, for better and for worse, a defining moment in my life, and one that will always be a big part of me.

I mentioned that the incident occurred while I was waiting for the bus and was caused by something so innocent; something that is one of the ultimate symbols of the childhood school years – a lunch box.  It was a Muppets lunch box, with a picture of Kermit the Frog on the front and its own flip-top thermos. I was devastated to lose it when I was hit by the car. I never saw it again after the accident.

Until today.

A package was delivered to my front door this morning.  I order a lot of things online, so I opened it, expecting to see the usual shipment of vitamins or hair products.  When I cut open the top, I saw it was a gift.  A blue box, with a note on top.

It read “Joan, We can’t take away the memory, but we can make sure Kermit is right where he belongs.”

I opened the box to find this:


Of course, the minute I saw it, I gasped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That very lunchbox. That very piece of my childhood that had led me to make one of the biggest mistakes of my life was once again right there – right in front of me. I teared up.

The hard-metal feel of the old-style lunchbox sent a wave of nostalgia over me. Then I opened it. And this is what really got me. This little bastard, right here:

Kermit thermos

Yup, the thermos.

I remember every detail about that thermos like it was yesterday. God! Do they still make lunchbox sets with a cool thermos? Because this thermos is epitome of awesome.

That’s when I really lost it.

“It’s exactly the same!!” I cried out – to no one, because I was alone in the house.

Here is another beauty shot. The other side has the cast of the Muppet Show – one of my absolute favorite shows growing up:

Muppets lunchbox

It turns out, the lunchbox, possibly the coolest present I have ever received, is a gift from Jeniene, an old friend of mine who I went to grad school with at Northwestern. She had sent it after reading my blog post last week.

I sent her a note to let her know how touched I was at the gift, and how emotional seeing it had made me.

“I totally get it,” she wrote back. “I only wish I could have put tomato soup in the thermos and a pb & j sandwich in the lunchbox.”

Like Jeniene notes, I can never take away what happened to me that day I was hit by the car. None of us can erase what has happened to us in our journey through life, and that’s OK. We often learn from the bad times.  I spent about 5 months healing from that accident. I missed almost half of the second grade. It’s time I’ll never get back, but that’s life.

We all know we can never be children again. Only once you’ve become an adult do you learn how good you once had it as a kid. We get older, and childhood is lost to us. On occasion, through memories, items, glimpses of innocence we see in our own kids, we get pieces of it back. I did today. The incredible gesture of a sweet friend made it happen.

Kermit thermos and lunchbox

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1 Response to The kid who got hit by a car, part 2: Kermit comes home

  1. Erin O'Shea says:

    So sweet!

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