We had a recliner in our family room that we bought just after we got married and moved into our first house. Twelve years and three kids later, the springs had detached from the frame and the padding was worn down to the wood on the arms. Everyone avoided sitting in it; the only protest when I gave it away was from Mr. Nine, who asked what he would climb on to reach his fishbowl on the mantel each morning.
We moved the chair from the living room into the family room so there is enough seating for family movie nights. But that left no chairs in the living room, and that’s the spot where we most often entertain. So we moved the chair from our bedroom into the living room.
We liked the chair in the living room, and have been thinking about getting a second one to make it a pair. In the meantime, we’ve been searching for something else to put in the now chairless bedroom. The Hub likes to lounge in the bedroom, away from the Legos, Tinker Toys, trains and Wii remotes that litter the family room. He wants a place to stretch out and read or watch tv. He suggested that if we moved my dresser from the corner of the bedroom, we’d have more room for comfy seating. He offered to move his things to the closet and empty his dresser for me to use. My dresser can be passed on to Miss Seven.
And so we did. I whittled my stuff from five drawers down to two (with a few things stored under the bed–painting clothes and out of season stuff), gave one drawer back to my husband, and kept one last drawer to store my jewelry box and a few accessories. But before I moved the jewelry box, I decided it was finally time to clean it out.
What treasures did I find in the jewelry box that my husband gave me on our very first Christmas? Thirteen plastic sandwich bags, each containing a single baby tooth. A large handful of loose change (helpfully corralled in a coffee filter, usually dipped into by the Tooth Fairy). Countless buttons, pins, nails, screws, and hair elastics. Two pairs of old sunglasses. Several luggage locks and keys. One pacifier. Four positive pregnancy tests. A stack of blank thank you notes. A tiny screwdriver. Oh, and some jewelry.
The story of my life in one wooden box.
I took everything out of the box and lifted the dust from the velvet lining with a piece of masking tape. I tightened the loose screws in the hinges. And then I returned only jewelry to the box. I put away or tossed everything else. Nobody’s using a pacifier anymore, and the excitement of finding out I was pregnant has been eclipsed by the real personalities those children have become. The Tooth Fairy still has a lot of teeth to collect at our house, so I found another convenient receptacle for the change.
We’re still looking for a chair, and haven’t rearranged Miss Seven’s room yet to accommodate the empty dresser. Time marches on, and every project begets another.