Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Friday!

I read an interview by Doretta Sperduto with interior designer James Servin. James is quoted sharing a story about his ice cream shop, What's The Scoop, which he opened at age 19, with his brother and four cousins. James says, 

"The business ended up going bankrupt. My parents let me fail, which is brilliant. When you fail at 19, it definitely shapes you. You become a very shrewd thinker. You think everything through."

My children aren't opening an ice cream shop, but reading this sure got me thinking...there is wisdom in allowing our children to fail. There is wisdom in not stepping in EVERY time. Hmmm...something to ponder.

He concludes the interview with this:

"This is what I tell my clients; a hearse can't pull a U-Haul. You cant' take anything with you, so you might as well enjoy." 

After I read that I got to thinking. I've always loved that poem Erma Bombeck wrote about what she'd do over in life. I'm a fan of burning the rose sculpted candle before it melts in storage. I think this philosophy bothers some...I've been called irreverent and told I lack true appreciation or don't understand the value of certain objects. I'm okay with that.

My kids drink out of the sterling silver baby cups their grandparents drank from, even the mint julep cup I drank from that my grandparents gave me. As babies, they ate their baby food off a sterling silver spoon that was a gift given by the grands. (And now it's tradition that we eat ice cream from those silver baby spoons!) We use our fine china - all wedding gifts or inherited. I don't baby proof the house. Or the coffee table. And my children eat off of china, even at Little Bit's age. In three children, I think we've had one bowl break (not counting the time they gave the dogs water)

As I approach 30, it is beginning to dawn on me that I am not going to live on this earth forever! And I am realizing how many beautiful gifts we have been given - that stay tucked away, seldom enjoyed. So I did something crazy. I put away most of the every day glasses we have, and I put our nice pewter goblets, given to us as wedding presents, in the kitchen cabinet. Now we drink from pewter goblets most nights. The Engineer, Sister, and Little Man, and any guests we have, think this rocks. I'm frequently told, "I feel like I'm in Narnia."

We've been eating in the dining room. We've been using those finer things, which have all been generously given to us. And guess what, aside from a forking, nothing has gotten broken and lots of sweet memories have been made.

Because you can't take the stuff with you. These days are precious and they are flying by, each one faster than the one before.

Love your babies and your man! And enjoy those sweet gifts given to you with love!

Happy Weekend!


  1. Great philosophy. I do this to an extent, but could probably stand to do it more.

  2. AMEN AMEN AMEN!!!!!! I could not possibly agree with you more!!!! Every night that I cook, we eat in the dining room off of our good china and antique goblets. The boys love it! Briggs loves to set the table and carefully carry everything into the dining room! Since being over 35, I have really realized everything you talked about! You are totally right- it makes everyday special and sweet memories!! Leslie

  3. Agreed! We use our good stuff everyday. And Stephen Small uses the nice utensils and glass dishes he got as baby gifts - he'll soon be moving up to the table and china. He actually broke his first dish TODAY at lunch but its not going to stop us.

    Also, I'm a huge Erma Bombeck fan, loved that you referred to her.

    Lit Bit's eyes are stunning.

    Oh and I love how you reminded us to love our man - that's so important!!!

  4. Love this post, and I love Narnia!!

  5. Water tastes better out of silver (or pewter) goblets. That's what I've always thought anyway. You do such a beautiful job of using your "good" stuff and this post, and seeing it in action, challenges and encourages me. And, love the fabric! :)

  6. I'm so inspired!

    In regards to letting your children learn from failure, I heard a great quote on the radio today: "Prepare your children for the road, NOT the road for your children." I thought it was profound and worth sharing.

  7. Oh Jenn!!
    I. LOVE. THIS!!! SOOOOO true!
    We only have Mikasa's "super strong fine china" and didn't get the fine bone china or the "everyday" stoneware...we have used it everyday for every meal in our home for most of our married life. It is now chipping, breaking and being thoroughly used up...but it has all. been. worth. it! I think you are wise and will not regret's lovely!

    LOVED the always they are GORGEOUS!!

    Happy weekend to you too!

  8. I'm with ya! It's there to be used. I shy away from pulling out all the silver sometimes, just because of the resulting hand washing and polishing. But you've inspired me!

  9. You are so right on in this! I love your thinking and I am encouraged even more to do this. I really don't have finer things. I do have some China tea cups from a great-grandma that we have been using. My sister thinks we are crazy to use them with our little tea parties, but I love it! It makes me feel closer to my ancestors! It also gives us a little elegance in our lives.

    I can't believe how much Little Bit looks like her brother! Wow!

  10. I am so with you on this business of using our nice things; we do it too. There is a family in our church that drinks out of their sterling silver water goblets every day! I love that.

    As for letting our children fail... this is hard, HARD for me.

  11. This was a good challenge to me! In the 3 1/2 years we've lived in this house, I think we've used the china only 3-4 times that I can remember. How sad! I haven't even used it when we've had people over! My kids would get a kick out of using the fancy plates. :)

    I remember those pewter glasses of yours--LOVED them! I was telling someone the other day about how you had all of us college girls over and fed us artichokes with butter sauce! They were VERY impressed. :)