Windows rolled down, wind whipping through my hair, Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me blasting through the speakers and me rockin' out as I cruise down Pacific Coast Highway getting to my favorite spot at the beach. This was the vision in my head as my 16th birthday approached. I didn’t care about a “Super Sweet 16” birthday party. I wanted a car, and I could smell the salt and sand every time I laid my head down on my pillow. The day was finally here, and my mom says, “I’ve got a surprise for you.” This is it. I’m getting my car. Nothing fancy. A car meant freedom. Freedom to go anywhere, anytime as long as I had my parents permission. I was giddy with anticipation. As I head towards the front door, my mom says, “no, up here.” What? My room? Leaping two steps at a time as I head up the stairs in high hopes of grabbing my new car keys, I open my bedroom door, to find my sweet 16 birthday surprise. A desk. Wait, did I get a desk? No car? My mom assured me I’d get more mileage out of my new desk then I would out any car. Not sure if I cried or even tried to hide my disappointment, I was 16. As my mom droned about the importance of this gift I continued to pout. I'm convinced this was my mom's not so subtle way of saying I needed to study more. As a typical teenager, I rebelled. In the beginning, I used my desk as a vanity. A place to store my hair products and make-up. Gradually it became so much more.
My desk has been in my life for thirty years. I’ve moved it and kept it passed it’s prime even when it didn't fit my style. But my mom was right. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out my desk. As the thought of getting rid of my desk passes in and out of my mind, I’m reminded of the miles I put on my old baby. The countless college papers I’ve written, including one-quarter I spent tens of hours analyzing each line of Hamlet, giving me a new found appreciation for Shakespeare’s writing and talent. This desk has seen it’s fair share of love notes, thank you notes, resumes, birth announcements, and Christmas letters. It also the place where my hubby wrote his dissertation and where I started my business. My desk has felt the splash of water as I spit from my mouth in laughter, tears from a broken heart, and vomit from my babies. Last weekend, I decided my desk is mine forever. Eyesore or not, it’s filled with more than office supplies, it’s filled with my life. But a coat of paint and some new hardware and my desk is ready for the rest of our journey. Do you think I can convince my teenagers they’ll get more mileage out a desk than a car? I’m going to try.