We had dinner at my grandparent’s house recently. As we sat down for our meal, I noticed the glass goblets my grandma had set out for my two children to use.
My four-year-old and six-year-old children. My rambunctious, wild, prone-to-accidents children.
I mentioned politely to my grandma this might not be the best and safest idea, but she insisted it would be fine. I wasn’t really worried about the safety of my children per se, but I was really worried about the safety of those beautiful, antique glasses that had been in our family for a long time.
But because at grandma’s house, grandma is in charge, my kids drank out of those precious glasses during dinner. My kids thought they were hot stuff. They sat a little taller, smiled a little bigger, drank a little more than normal, and were beyond careful with their stemware.
Later that night on the drive home, I was looking at the pictures I snapped of my daughters while we were at Grandma’s house: Drinking out of glass goblets, roaming the yard I used to play in as a child, running around the barns I knew growing up. And in the dark of the car, with tired kids fastened tightly into their seats and asleep behind me, it hit me. I understood why my clumsy and careless children drank out of an antique glass at dinner that evening.
Something my grandma understood because she’s just so wise: Why do we save all our best for others? Why do we save our finest things for a special occasion that might not ever come?
My wedding china is sitting in a box in our basement. The plates are wrapped up in newspaper and stored safely in stackable crates. I don’t think we’re ever used them.
I’m afraid they will break.
But in the grand scheme of things, who cares? My wedding china doesn’t matter at all.
My marriage, that matters. My family, that matters. Feeding my friends, that matters. Celebrating the everyday, that matters.
My wedding china doesn’t matter.
And that’s what my grandma knew as we sat down to dinner that night.
Because living into your mid-eighties teaches you things. It teaches you eating dinner with your great-grandkids on a crisp spring evening is special. It shows you a three year old drinking homemade cider from trees you planted in your yard should be made important because it is. It reminds you what’s worth getting out the fine china for.
So tonight, we’re eating dinner on our wedding china. We might just be having sandwiches or getting crazy with a box of macaroni and cheese, but this life, this time we have, it’s worth celebrating.
Thanks Grandma, for the reminder. And cheers to you in those fancy green goblets.
Mary Graham is a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Indiana. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog, Blue. During the day, she teaches high school English and at night (after the girls are asleep), she writes for The Huffington Post, Pearson’s Teachability, For Every Mom, her own blog, TrustyChucks.com, and various other print and digital outlets. Mary’s work has also appeared on HuffingtonPost.com. In her spare time, she likes to read, travel, eat chocolate, run half marathons, and then eat more chocolate.