This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…

My husband and I have attempted to gather nice things around us in our 18 year marriage, but we’ve never been successful. When he and I first moved in together, I was 27 and he was 25. (Yes, I’m telling my real age) I had a few belongings that were special to me. Mostly things my dad had purchased for me growing up before he passed away. All of these things had sentimental value, but not really monetary value aside from my class ring that didn’t look like a class ring at all. It had my birthstone in the center of the setting and it was encircled with diamonds.

He took me one morning to a jewelry store and let me pick it out. It was the most expensive pieces of jewelry I think I’ve ever owned.

We went to Gem Jewelers and I was given several trays of rings to look over, but my hand kept going back to one particular ring. It was gorgeous. It was also $400. For a young girl who had never had a real piece of jewelry, this was amazing.

I miss it. I have no clue what happened to it. I kept it in a box under my sink and it was gone one day. I went to look for it and it vanished. It hurt. It still hurts. It was like a piece of my daddy taken from me. It signified a moment in time. A special time with him. Gone.

I can’t have nice things.

At the time my husband and I moved in with one another, we had two small girls – one mine and one his that visited on occasion. We purchased a few odds and ends of furniture, which in our opinion was nice. We went together to the furniture store and picked out this fabric sectional. It was around $700 and had a nice neutral color with coordinating cushions. It was comfortable and big enough to suit our movie nights.

One child attacked the cushions with marker. Then there was melted crayon (no clue how that happened) spilled drinks, food stuck in the crevices. It didn’t take a year before cleaner couldn’t help it and the sofa was less than stellar. I think we ended up selling it at a yard sale for $100.

We had our first baby together in 1998. We had been together almost two years and just married. Neither of us were truly responsible, so again we didn’t accumulate nice things.The nostalgic belongings I had before marriage were starting to dwindle thanks to children who would snoop through drawers.

Baby number two came in 1999 and number three in 2002. We had stair steps. Cute little destructive tornadoes that destroyed everything in their paths.

Flash forward a few years later and we were moving into a new place. Went to get yet another sectional. This time we purchased a nice leather cream-colored sofa with recliners on both ends. It was oh so comfortable. We were both so proud.

But kids will be kids.

We caught our son with a ball point pen standing beside the sofa watching cartoons as he proceeded to turn the leather into a sieve, stabbing one hole after another into the soft and supple leather.Months passed and the tiny holes became caverns, which turned into rivers and finally large patches of missing fabric. I don’t think we even finished paying for that sofa, which was close to $2,000 before we had to toss it out.


Last night I got a text from my son-in-law. He was worried because my daughter was upset. My granddaughter had gotten into her things and ruined them.

Flash back, my heart broke for her. Many times I would find myself crying as I picked up the pieces from one of my precious items. Things that couldn’t be replaced and even if they could it wasn’t the same.

A Gone With the Wind snowglobe I got for Christmas from my mom and dad my senior year of high school – shattered.

The headjoint to my sterling silver piccolo that my daddy had engraved for me –  lost and not put back in its case.

A beautiful pink ice ring I had gotten for my birthday the year before my dad died – gone.


Sadly, my words of advice to my sweet daughter who is going through so much right now and to other young mothers like her, things ARE just things. I know that doesn’t really help when your heart is breaking and you feel so helpless and alone. It doesn’t bring back your prized possessions. It doesn’t take away the feeling that you just want things of your own and you don’t want anybody bothering them, but it is what it is.

When your kid is young, it’s easy to corral them onto a blanket or in a playpen, but as their curious minds start to wonder about the whys and hows of life, that little blob-like creature will leave a path of destruction in its wake. It’s inevitable. It will hurt. You will lose your temper, blow your lid. You will feel like strangling that little bundle of wonderfulness. But you won’t.

That sweet little toddler requires more entertainment and will become more and more unintentionally destructive with each passing day. She would rather take a sharp object and carve a stick-like creature into that 100-year-old heirloom than to use crayons in a coloring book. You can also bet she will take pleasure in pouring a sticky-like substance into your $1,000 lazy boy and delight to herself when you blow a fuse.

Anyone with kids will tell you, it doesn’t matter how well they are watched. It doesn’t matter who is watching. All it takes is one second. Just a turn of the head. (Ask the mom whose kid jumped in with the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.) In a single second your precious child will jump ship, run off, destroy something, burn something down, get lost, drown the cat, flush your favorite socks, microwave the hamster, put crayons in the dryer and even pour salt in your coffee just before you take a long drink.

To her, she got your attention. It’s doesn’t matter how she did it. She doesn’t see the destruction, she only sees the attention she gets when she does it. Good or bad attention, she won’t care. She just wants results.

The good news….she will outgrow this quickly.

The bad news…..she will outgrow this quickly.

Trust me….trust me….trust me…..

Hide the things you love dearly. Mourn the treasures she still manages to grab.

One day those little hands will be big hands waving goodbye. Those important things won’t seem so important anymore. It does come sooner than later.

But for now, this is why we can’t have nice things……  🙂


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