Parenting is tough, but you have to learn to laugh, roll with the punches, and make sure to not miss the moments.
I have spent the past week prepping my home for a Christmas party.
You read that right. Thanksgiving hasn’t even arrived, yet I’m getting my home ready for this party I’ll be hosting that happens weeks from now. You know the drill – you get all the boxes out, sort through the decor to see what to keep or toss, and in one moment you’ve created red and green chaos in your house.
The other night, despite the exhaustion from getting my home show ready, I decided to ignore the mess, stop the decorating, and made us a nice family dinner.
“Mom, this is delicious!” said my youngest with his beaming eyes.
“Thanks, son,” I replied, returning the smile.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw it.
The mark on the table.
My too-old-to-know-better almost 10 year old had taken his ginormous pencil he recently won at an arcade and decided to stake his claim on my dining room table by carving his name in it. Not just a small mark, but a 2 inch tall, deeply carved “Ty” right into my newly refinished table.
Didn’t he see me work days and days on that table? Sanding and staining and reminding them that this table is not for writing or drawing, but for eating. What was he thinking?
I felt the heat rise to my face, and my smile quickly turned into a sneer.
I was a sight!
Picture me, nosed flared, smoke bellowing out from my nostrils, foam coming out of my mouth, steam spewing from my ears and I hear myself bellow.
“WHAT. IS. THAT?!” punctuating the shriek with a hard snap of the consonant.
My son plays naive and drops his napkin in such a way to try to hide the evidence.
“what?” he asks sheepishly.
“DID YOU CARVE YOUR NAME INTO MY TABLE?!”
In true Joan Crawford fashion, I grabbed that huge pencil that was still laying on the dinner table and pointed at the spot! Standing now, with teeth clenched and wagging that pencil in front of his face, “This… is going in the trash!”
Instead of saying “NO WIRE HANGERS,” I exclaim, “NO GIANT PENCIIILLLLSS!”
I stomp to the trash, eyes focused only on the goal at hand, which is to rid myself of the tool that has destroyed my beloved table. I fail to notice the open cabinet door just above the trash can. WHACK! I smack my head against the corner of the door which only makes me angrier. An instant raspberry forms on my forehead in true cartoon fashion.
Wham, goes the cabinet door, stomp stomp stomp to my room, and Wham – I slam that door behind me hard enough to knock a picture off the wall.
As I fume and try to regain control of my spiraling emotions that too closely resemble a hormonal teenager, my husband swoops in to dole out the punishment. Groundings and talking-tos are had and behind my closed door, I start to feel the anger subside only to be replaced with shame.
My forehead tender and my ego equally bruised, it was just enough of a reminder that I shouldn’t take myself too seriously. This wasn’t my proudest parenting moment.
I was so caught up in floofing and poofing and styling my house to impress people for a one hour event – people that aren’t coming to see how I decorate, but to break bread and fellowship. I was so focused on the wrong thing that I almost missed it.
The beauty in the blemishes.
Do you know that my favorite pieces in my home are the ones with the most marks?
My cherished chest that came from my great great Granny Tanner’s house. It was the only piece rescued from the fire that burned their house to the ground around the turn of the 20th century. It sat in my great Granddaddy’s home as the touchstone – the welcome spot that everyone who crossed the threshold came to – because that’s where the coffee pot sat. The chest is still adorned with aged coffee rings. And one corner is permanently warped from the heat of the ever-brewing coffee maker. Generations of my family have circled this piece and now it’s in my home.
And there is the hutch that came from my husband’s family. Someone used a knife to pry open a stuck drawer and chipped away at the wood by mistake. This hutch displays my favorite milk glass collection and other family treasures.
Treasures like this rusty, vintage scale that my great aunt used on the family farm to weigh butter before selling.
Weathered, worn, and story laden – those are my favorite things. Not because they are marred, but because of the stories that marred them.
Yes, I just worked on this table, and isn’t it murphy’s law that new things always break in some way? So I’m abandoning my plans made mid-stomp to refinish the tabletop in record time in order have my house ‘just-so’.
I almost missed this moment.
I almost missed our own story.
And now, I’m embracing this scratched up table, knowing that I’m creating my own piece that is weathered, worn and story-laden.