The bowls were stacked so nicely, the shades orange, yellow, and peach all coordinated in a such a desirable way. It was a lovely magazine picture, and for a moment I coveted the idea of a cabinet just like it, so perfectly arranged and color-coordinated.
Oh, my dishes, my broken dishes. They last for less than a month, they are always hitting the floor, being chipped and dropped in the sink to break into pieces. They are left everywhere except in a nice display cabinet, and they wouldn’t be worth displaying anyway because…because what?
If I did have that imaginary cabinet, it would probably mean I wouldn’t have all those hands in the house breaking all the dishes, bowls, and glasses, amongst other things.
It might mean I wouldn’t hear the sound of tiny and large feet pounding through my home, yes, getting my floors dirty. It might mean my days would have long periods of silence, instead of flowing, creative talk that often makes me more joyful than silent moments to myself.
My perfect display of unbroken dishes might mean a clean refrigerator door, instead of crayon drawings, paper flowers, self-portraits, poems, fingerprints, school lists – love notes.
It might mean a perfectly clean bathroom at all hours – a thought that balances on an unrealistic rope in many ways.
A perfect anything in our home would mean no one was ever touching anything. It would mean less hands, less of something so precious, our real treasures, and the thought makes me sad. The truth is, to the world, my home is imperfect in many ways. To a society that craves the ‘American Dream’, we are narrow and strange.
Most of my dishes are plastic, and not one is color coordinated. Occasionally, we’ll buy real glasses, but in a month, we’ll need more. We find ‘pretty’ plastic, and it’s good enough.
My refrigerator has many lists, drawings, lovely colorful pictures and fingerprints. My corners don’t have pretty display cabinets. They have books, books, and oh, more books. Beatrix Potter and Winnie the Pooh live in my bookshelves, along with Long John Silver, Robinson Crusoe and many other characters that find their way to other parts of our home with the help of many hands.
I have baskets of crayons, pencils, scissors, glue and crafty items. It gets quite unorderly. My laundry can pile up like Mt. Vesuvius, so we tackle the volcano the best we can. No where here will you find a pretty display!
I wouldn’t trade my broken dishes for a perfect display of coordinated loveliness. I like the hands, I like the noise, I like the laundry, I like the broken dishes – that will one day will be lonely for many hands.
Don’t let the broken dishes stir discontent. Savor your time with the many hands, the many broken temporaries, that leave memories; memories that can be carried into your next home – which by the way, if you know Him, is perfect.