My mom collects an above-average amount of antique furniture. Like, I’ve been in an antique store with her and heard a speech about how she had to have this turquoise wooden toddler bed even though there were no toddlers or promise of future toddlers in our family at the time.
I remember many a trip looking at many a toddler bed for many an hour past my patience. My mom was great, though. She would eventually start to feel bad for us, so she’d say something like, “Okay, when we leave here, we’ll go to The Limited Too and CLAIRE’S!”
The Limited Too was exciting, but Claire’s was the promised land.
Where else could you find rainbow plastic ice cream cone necklaces? Or faux zebra fur scrunchies? Or soccer ball shaped change purses? Or key chain frogs with eyes that bugged out when you squeezed them? Or secret diaries with unicorn keys? From the mall store flowing with milk and honey, that’s where. CLAIRE’S.
I can remember a specific antique shop we were in – piles of baseball cards next to armoires next to yellowed silk bras from the 30’s. My sister was about four, and all of a sudden, tears rolled down her cheeks. This crying thing may be a common occurrence for most four-year-olds, but not for Aubrey. She’s never been a crier. So, we were both surprised when we noticed.
“What’s wrong, Aubrey?” my mom chirped.
“I’m just so bored…I’m going to cry.”
Then, she released four years worth of emotions into the aisle between rotting rocking chairs and rusty filing cabinets.
My mom thought it was so amusing that little Aubrey, not yet fluent in clichés, was literally bored to tears.
So, I had one of those startling I’m-my-mother moments a few days ago at the mall looking for a specific color of cami, when I noticed that familiar look of despondency on my five-year-old daughter. It looked a lot like the antiquing-induced meltdown of ‘98.
I thoughtlessly chirped out the same words I remember coming out of my mother so long ago, “Just be patient and after this we’ll go to CLAIRE’S.”
The hope of plastic paradise was an instant game changer. Ever even got into helping me pick out the cami.
“Oh, Mommy, you know, this one would look great on you!” (She’s just now experimenting with the art of buttering people up)
My point is, once little Aubrey, and now my little Ever believed they had the hope of a single set of fake gold star earrings, their whole demeanor changed.
I want to spend more time thinking about CLAIRE’S.
Why do I still sometimes find myself walking through life as if I have no hope of the promised land? Sometimes despondent. Sometimes desensitized.
Maybe it’s because I’m very good at filling myself with working and pinning and antiquing, and very bad at looking forward to what hasn’t happened yet.
I’m on my way to CLAIRE’S, guys.
It doesn’t take me very long at all to become wrapped up in insignificant things. But I’m an everlasting being, living with everlasting hope.
At one point, basking in the glory of glitter lip gloss was the ultimate for me. But now, when I remember heaven is a place I get to go to, I can look forward to joy unspeakable and full of glory. I await the unimaginable when every tear, antiquing-induced and otherwise, will be wiped away.
Like the old song says, “Some glad morning, when this life is over, I’ll go to Claire’s.”