Dear Lucas,

You are only eight years old, so you don’t yet have the life experience to understand the impact of your words, oh, those scathing, mocking words you uttered to me the other day after I threatened bodily harm if you continued to scrape your fork across the tender grain of my kitchen table:

“How come you always call it ‘your’ kitchen table? Daddy bought it. He buys everything.”

It would seem to you that Daddy buys most things around here, wouldn’t it? After all, he is the breadwinner, the bacon-bringer, the… hero. I’m just the cook and the maid and all that other crap I would supposedly get paid $200,000 for if I earned a salary for all the “hats” I wear. But this is not that kind of letter (don’t worry, readers; I wouldn’t do that to you).

My dear Lucas, we will one day have a discussion about how, in the eyes of the law, fifty cents of every dollar your father earns is mine, and how the work I contribute to this household has immense value. We will have those discussions.

But not today. Today, I just need to tell you:

The kitchen table is mine.

It’s mine because, right around the time I discovered that scrumptious piece of hunky wooden artwork on Craigslist, I had just performed with the local orchestra and my earnings were more than enough to cover the cost of the table.

It’s mine because I bought it, with my own money that I earned (and is also half your father’s but we’ll pay no mind to that right now). It’s mine because I searched for months on Craigslist before finding the exact replica (even better!) of the one that was a thousand dollars more in the World Market catalog, and because I went to the trouble of borrowing uncle Gerry’s truck to go to pick it up. (And gave him gas money!)

It’s mine because I used my own muscles to help a pair of beefy teenage football players load it into the back of uncle Gerry’s truck, sort of, I mean, I tried to, they didn’t need much help but I was totally there for them, and I unloaded it and brought it in the house… okay, with your dad’s help but still. He would have stepped on and crushed the remote-control airplane you left in the middle of the floor if I hadn’t been there screaming at him to move to the left, NO, THE OTHER LEFT!!! (Who’s the hero now, son?)

That table is mine because I’m the one who spreads out the plastic cloth so that you sticky booger-machines can smear play-dough, paint, and whatever those weird little colored balls filled with water are called all over the place.

It’s mine because I’m the one who cooks the food that we put on it.

It’s mine because I’m the one who cleans it when you little a-holes forget to use the plastic thingy under your artwork and draw all over it with (washable; thank God I was smart enough to buy washable) markers.

It’s mine because I picked quirky red chairs and an awesome contemporary light fixture to go with it.

It’s mine because I sweep under it.

But most importantly, it’s mine because I love it.

Yeah, that’s right, I’m materialistic and I love a giant piece of wood (that’s what she said; one day you’ll get the joke, sweetie, but not today). And I deserve to to be able to call this table that I love “mine.” I deserve to have one thing in this house be mine and for it to not get destroyed by one of you kids (or Daddy, like he did to our last table) because you absentmindedly drug a sharp metal object across it.


table is mine


But if you’re still not sure, dear child, whether or not the kitchen table is mine, I have one final, indisputable reason:

Because I said so.

— — — — —

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  1. Mmm hmm. I, too, have a dining table that is MINE. I bought it with my inheritance from my grandmother. It is hickory, with matching chairs and a bench (it looks a bit like yours, incidentally).
    I love it so much I don’t really want to cover it up with a tablecloth, because I love it every day. And I love looking at it in its natural state.
    So when my 16 year old brought in a plastic tote that had been placed in the driveway momentarily, which had a little rock stuck to the bottom of it, and then MOVED THE TUB creating an 18″ GASH on my table, and I cried, and he made fun of me, I blew.
    Because I bought this table as a memorial to my grandmother, who loved nice things, had a great sense of style, and gave fabulous dinner parties. So he didn’t just scratch an object. He scratched my dead grandmother. And my heart.
    And all that other stuff. The kitchen is also mine, by the way. But he is welcome to do his best to wreck those cupboards and that 30 year old countertop. I’m not really attached to them.

    • Ohhhh don’t I feel your pain!! I do have a very fancy dining table (apart from the kitchen table) that is covered with a protective cloth and a regular table cloth. I would go nuclear if someone scratched it. lol

    • I don’t even know why I bother. They’re going to destroy everything eventually, right?

  2. My kids say the same thing to me about things: “But Daddy bought it.” Actually, you little jerks, this may shock you, but MOMMY EARNS AS MUCH AS DADDY, and we share our money, so I certainly COULD have bought it. But “it’s mine because I love it” is perfectly reasonable. My grandmother gave me a beautiful white couch that she’d had for 50+ years. It’s so comfortable, and so gorgeous, I just adore it. I came as close to seriously harming another living creature as I ever have the day the dog ripped half the dust ruffle thing (whatever it’s called on a couch) off the front of it. I couldn’t fix it, I couldn’t replace it. I just had to cut it off, and I almost used the torn fabric to strangle the fucking dog. (Which story I was also reminded of by your other post about the pillows, coffee, and superhero cape.)

  3. I used to have “mine” things…..had to give them up to save my kids!

  4. That table sounds amazing. Everyone needs something that is theirs, and tiny humans need to keep their little mitts off of it. 🙂

    • It really is an amazing big ol’ hunky piece of wood. Sometimes I wish we didn’t have to eat on it. =)

  5. I share ALL THE THINGS!!! But the toilet in our Master Bathroom, that is MINE. Kids are NOT allowed to leave their DNA, be it yellow or brown, anywhere NEAR it.

  6. Just wanted to let you know I sent the Grand “Firecracker” bouquet from Bouqs. It should arrive next week. I’m super excited and I probably won’t even see them!

  7. Because because because because.

    And it’s mine.

    I don’t share either. I get ya.

    • We’ve already given away our bodies. Can’t we lay claim to a piece of furniture or two?

  8. I love this post! I could not agree more with it. Children can be little brats sometimes when they start questioning us (I have an 8 year old too, very argumentative lately!). Love your table btw!

    • Thanks! Ah yes, children and their questioning of authority… I would be lost without it. 😉

  9. I can totally relate!! We bought a house 2 years ago and upon moving in I didn’t want the “old” living room set in our “new” house, We both wanted to have a beautiful room that we could hang art in and enjoy the fireplace whenever we wanted to. (Our kids are older and we are down to 2 now that the oldest moved out last year), but anyway, for Mothers Day 2 years ago I shopped for and my husband bought me the entire living room with beautiful wood and stone tables etc….Well first we “banned” anyone but adults sitting on the furniture. Then we figured they were big enough to sit nice…well now we have a scratch on the top of one of the tables that cannot be repaired. It was an accident I know, but still, it was a sad day for me because I so love this furniture and wanted it to be the last we ever buy. (Hubby says when the kids move out we will sell this house and buy something smaller and get everything new and not let the kids come to visit…..LOL) *I am sure that won’t happen but alas, we can dream. Kid ruin stuff it is a fact of life. So sorry you had to have that little talk with your kids. HUGS

    • Some days I am perfectly fine with having given up EVERY SINGLE THING for my kids – including the very body I inhabit. Other days, not so much. 😉