Blue bureau becomes
my son’s storage during the
midpoint of its life
Parenting On A Dime
A million years ago, when I was pregnant with my first born and didn’t have two nickels to rub together, my budget impacted my choices when setting up the nursery. It probably didn’t help that I was, in hindsight, a kid myself. I bought a crib after winning $90 in the lottery, because my in-laws saved the crib from their youngest, who was about to become a father himself. Oh, those were the days. Man, they sucked. I didn’t have a plan for child rearing, much less the décor in the nursery, so I made do with something I could manage. Mostly from day to day – more like night-to-night once he arrived – I was winging parenthood.
Son Number One started life with a crib and a dresser – also previously owned. I purchased it from a second-hand store, cleaned it up, sanded it off, and painted it baby blue, and added bold and bright modes of transportation. Maybe even then wanderlust was in the back of my mind. The baby daddy didn’t even pretend to be interested in putting together a nursery, so the five drawers represented solely my interest and my love of color. I took my son for plane rides, train rides, boat trips, truck rentals, and taught him how to drive his first car. Yep. Nailed it – the paintings, and the itchy-feet brand of parenting.
When I downsized before moving to the frozen tundra of the Bakken, many of my belongings and most of my furniture stayed behind: my bed, my modular cabinets, my ball chairs (see Ball Chairs from October 2021), and my son’s dresser. He chose not to take it when he moved into his own apartment, so once the socks, underwear, shorts, and t-shirts were emptied from its five bins, I refilled it with books or bags or other girl gear. For nearly thirty years, the dresser held its own. The vertical bureau’s unknown secret, however, was its age. What else did it hold before it met me, and how long did it serve its prior owner – or owners?
Before leaving Utah (see Christmas On The Move from December 2021), everything that I didn’t plan to own into the next stage of my life found a new home, whether sold or donated or given to friends, and so when Delano and I left Utah the dresser moved on to its next life. As I helped the man load the blue cabinet into the back of his pick-up truck, I told him the story of its life with me – all twenty-six years – and the places it’s travelled and the way it’s held up given its advanced, yet unknown total number of years. I describe the way I painted it blue once I knew I was going to have a boy. He tells me he plans to repaint it because he has a daughter. It’s going to have a third life at least – maybe more.