Broken Glass

Oct 9 2012

We broke another plate this morning.

And, by we, I mean they.

They broke another plate this morning, the happy hooligans who live in my house.

Four weeks ago, they broke the glass of the big family photo that hangs in our stair well. Knocked that frame off the wall during an epic light saber battle… or while carrying the Giant Stick Collection upstairs… or because someone pushed someone else for going too slow. It’s hard to say for sure. My witnesses are historically unreliable.

Three weeks ago, it was the wine glass I left on the counter.

Two weeks ago, they broke the glass of the picture in the bathroom. You know the one; the Monet print I bought at the Louvre in my early 20’s. My first attempt at classy home decorating.

Sadly, Monet and I grew apart years ago, but, hello, I met him in Paris so I couldn’t just toss him away. I relegated him to the bathroom, instead, where he hung on the wall behind the door and I never, ever saw him since I haven’t pottied with the door closed since 1998.

I knew he was there, though, like the me-I-once was-in-my-20’s. Waiting.

I heard the thundering footsteps of the oldest boy child. BOOM BOOM BOOM. And the skittering sound of the dog’s claws on the wood floor, chasing the boy.

I heard them round the corner.

I heard the THUD as the boy child hit the bathroom door. And the SLAM of the door being pushed too far backward into the wall behind it.

I heard the frame sliding off its hook and scratching the wall — down, down, down — to crash in a terrific, glittery spray.

It makes sense that it broke, really, this symbol of my four carefree Parisian days. Because you can’t go back. You just can’t. And me in my early 20’s? I don’t even want to go back, except now and then for a nap or to keep reading when a book gets to the good part.

Today, they broke another plate.

It was from our wedding set. We were so practical when we bought it. Blue pinstripe, it’s called.

We can mix and match it with other dishes, we said when we chose it.

We can use it for fine dining or casual, we said.

It’ll go with everything, we said.

And we were right.

But we didn’t know then that you don’t want china that goes with everything. Because everything includes the kitchen floor.

I’m beginning to suspect nothing will survive my kids’ childhood. Not the dishes. Not the artwork. Not even me. At least, not me in any form I used to recognize myself.

And that, friends, is strangely OK, because I’m learning that mamas do, in fact, go with everything. Even broken on the hard kitchen floor.

So here’s to broken glass, friends. And a smashing success of a week.