Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Step Stool

A step stool - a beaten up, chewed up, worn out, dirty, old step stool. That would probably be your answer if I asked you "What do you see in this picture?".

That was my answer the other day too as I bent down to move it out of my way to sweep the kitchen floor. I thought to myself that maybe it was finally time to toss the almost seventeen-year-old piece of junk. But when my hand connected with the once smooth wood, it was like one of those freaky sci-fi TV show moments (or what I imagine them to be since I don't really watch those). Memories, like electric currents, jolted through my brain...

…Brandon's first black eye at the ripe old age of two. His eyebrow connected with the corner of the stool after he came barreling into the kitchen - in sock feet - all set to climb up and take his perch to help make pancakes on a snow day.

…Seeing the stool perched in the bathroom floor so that toothpaste spit would make it into the sink (or preschool boys' pee would make it into the potty).

…Standing guard at the base of many a kitchen cabinet while independent (aka headstrong) little boys were determined to grasp whatever the object of their desire "all by myself!"

…During the twee years, the stool wasn't as nearly in demand. But it came in handy when growing arms were asked to change light bulbs or reach the barely-used items on the top shelf of the cabinets.

These days the stool just sits there waiting to be needed, but more often than not it's shoved out of the way. Those two rambunctious little boys can not only reach the counter now but they can fix their own breakfast. And usually the toothpaste around the sink is because they spit from too high above. They're still asked to change light bulbs or grab dishes but a step stool isn't required for reaching.

Princess Mia uses it from time to time, but as in true princess fashion she usually just beckons someone else to do or get whatever she needs.

As I continued moving the stool and looking at remnants of pulled-off stickers, I realized that the real beauty of an object isn't in what it looks like but in the stories it tells. How often have I gotten rid of memories because something looked worn and dated? Next time I think about getting rid of something, I'll think about those stories the nicks, dents and dings tell before I chuck it in a pile for the dump.