My daughter has the perfect little girl desk. I know it is perfect, because it was mine when I was younger. It’s regular size, so she can use it all the way through high school, and the top flips up to reveal a “secret” place to store treasure. There is also a large mirror on the under side of the lid and two extra side drawers. She was so excited when we brought it from my mom’s house a few months ago that she positively vibrated with enthusiasm. She didn’t want to leave her room because she was busy organizing it and looking in the mirror. It’s antique white, and she likes to think the antique part is actual gold. She loves this desk. It was in her room less than 24 hours before she colored on the front of it. At first I was upset, especially when I couldn’t get the marks to wash off. Then I remembered why the front panel is plain white instead of antique white. That was where my mom painted over my art work.
We all make mistakes and do thing we regret. My husband calls them cringe moments. Those moments you can’t look back on without cringing, regretting, or wanting to change something. Cringe moments are about small things: the time I complained about my amazingly ugly orange counter tops in front of my friend’s mom, who told me she just chose that exact color for the counters in the house she was building; or the time I was at a party at my husband’s boss’s house and spilled something (okay it was beer) on the white carpet. Cringe moments don’t always start out as a mistake, sometimes you do something very intentionally only to regret it later. I’m sure both my daughter and I, somewhere in the back of our heads, thought we were improving the looks of our desk with our artwork. They can also come from a simple misunderstanding. Years ago a co-worker, who I didn’t know very well, returned from maternity leave. I asked her how it felt to be back. She stared at me with her mouth hanging open, turned and ran from the room. Pretty soon, no one was talking to me. Finally another co-worker asked how I could possibly have asked her such a question. Turns out what she heard me say was, “How does it feel to be fat?”
The thing I’ve come to realize about these long ago moments, is no one cares anymore,except me. If I bring up a cringe moment, even with people who were there when it happened, they either don’t remember it at all, or they just think it was funny. So I’m trying to let go of some of my cringe moments and remember something my daughter told me when she was about three, “God loves us always, even if we break stuff.” Our friends and family probably do too.