Parenting Skills | Your Home Style
In the middle of a wonderfully decadent “60% and more” after Christmas shopping spree, I called my daughter to tell her of a great find I wanted to get for her. She quickly informed me, “I like that, but it’s not our style”. “Well, if you like it….,” I started to reply and was quickly cut off. “It doesn’t fit our style. It’s not our chosen décor. We want everything to fit in perfectly,” she said as a new bride with a new place to decorate all on their own.
After finishing our conversation, I walked around my house trying to decide the style of my own comfy abode. I wandered in the kitchen where pictures from Kindergarten were next to the magnet from her 1st trip to the zoo. I opened up the cupboard where 9 coffee mugs were in view, and not one matched the other. Among them were three from different countries she visited, one she made in ceramics class and one with a “sweater” on it that she said was made for me on those cold South Florida nights when while sipping my hot chocolate, my fingers wouldn’t feel the heat.
A variety of ornaments are found around the house year-round, well, because you know, she made them. Sticky notes reminding me to drop her off here and there, to making sure I made the brownies, to simply stating “I love you, Ma”, are found on most walls and inside some of the cabinets. The vast assortment of tissue paper flowers with pipe cleaner stems from a long-ago era, are proudly displayed in a variety of vases. Who needs roses that need water refills, when you can just take your duster and whisk off the accumulation month after month, year after year!
In a box are the coloring book pages with the scribble scrabble on them, that if you look sideways and squint in just the right manner, you swear it says, “To the best Ma ever.” This of course was written when she was just two!! From her first onesie to her last prom dress, they are all in this space I occupy adoringly.
Sure, not everything matches, because her favorite stuffed animal has to be displayed just so. The picture frame made out of popsicle sticks stands tall next to the silver plated one. Guess which one I would grab in a fire? The bookshelves are cluttered, but I dare not remove anything. I have crystal stemware, but the mug with the crack in it that she made just for me, is the one I use daily.
What’s my style, my décor you ask? It’s called HOME. It’s a place where things might be discarded, but never forgotten. They might be outdated and old, but not thrown out. They could be faded, but vibrant in my mind. They might have lost their functionality, but not their purpose. You see, by looking at them, I remember when they were given to me. I can still see the look in her eyes and the excitement oozing from her upon presentation. The joy I felt reading the notes, opening the cards. All those emotions are still there.
I think back ions ago when I was setting up a new house, I too had ideas of grandeur that everything would be sparkling new – and stay that way. I dreamed that there was a place for everything and everything had a place! I envisioned the latest and the greatest, and if something broke or lost its luster, I would simply replace it, because after all, it was only stuff.
However, once your child starts giving you tokens of love from their heart, creative pieces from their little hands, gifts they picked out with only you in mind, the word stuff takes on a whole new meaning. It’s called love. And the items that you never imagined hanging on to, let alone fill crevices and boxes and shelves where everything was once neatly arranged, well, that’s called home. And with conviction, I can say, that is my style!
So, happy collecting all the treasures, tidbits, tokens and knickknacks that don’t fit your design, don’t match what you had intended and may not even fit comfortably. But after the hugs and the exclamations that those were exactly what you wanted, and as you find loving places for them, remember, you are forming your own style, your own design, your décor – in ways you could never imagine!