Stuff is Stuff


I hope as my son gets older there are a few things he remembers about me.

I hope that he remembers that I always sit on the floor with a cup of coffee, in front of the stove and watch cookies bake, or bread rise. Because I think it’s magical.

I hope remembers nights by the fire playing Gin Rummy. Or black jack… and that I always kept his money, and never let him win.

I hope he remembers phrases like “think about it logically” (that one makes him crazy, but I can guarantee he thinks it in math class…..)

But I hope he remembers one phrase I have said since he was born.

“Stuff is stuff”

The first thing that happened this  holiday season….was a broken ornament. One of my grandmother’s. One of the only things I have of hers. That I took from her basement full of pickles and mason jars and material for quilts unmade. It was antique, who knows how old. And it shattered at the hand of my son.

I saw tears welling and without hesitation or anger I hugged him.

And said “stuff is stuff…”

Which has always been my way of saying… at the end of the day, the stuff isn’t what is important.

What was important was the memories of my Grandmother making me divinity in July because I wasn’t able to spend Christmas with her.

A while back, someone reached into my cupboard and pulled out a wine glass. I looked and smiled. And told them they were from Germany. Quickly the glass was placed back in the cupboard. I went and got it back out, filled it up and said “I use my stuff, I can’t be buried with it…..use it.”  I use the wine glasses, the plates, the blankets…. all the priceless things given to me, all the things I’ve picked up while galavanting. Everything. I don’t believe in saving things for special occasions, because getting up and breathing is a special occasion to me.  And if something happens to them, it’s ok to mourn the memory of them for a minute, it’s ok to cry…but letting it go is good. It’s stuff.

Stuff is stuff. Including phones and iPads and tvs and cars and cameras and computers. Even houses.

And to my son

I hope you remember this phrase.

I hope as you age…the importance of stuff (electronics, cars, perfect houses, perfect things….) is far from a priority.

And that the good stuff… isn’t stuff.