Over three years ago, I wrote about one of the coolest traditions my parents did for us growing up. Each year, everyone in my family would create a plate. Wait, what do you mean create a plate? On a random night each year, my mom would place circular pieces of paper in front of us. We would then have the freedom to draw whatever we wanted on it. My mom would then ship our artwork to a factory and a few months later they would come back to us in plate form.
As I described in the blog post from April of 2014, this “china” was pretty much exclusively what we ate off of growing up. When us kids left the house, my parents quietly “retired” some of the plates from circulation. My mom was stashing them away for safe keeping so one day she could give our respective plates to each of us when we were settled and had families of our own.
This passing of the torch occurred for me last week. I arrived home from work and waiting on our doorstep was a big brown box. My mom had shipped me my plates.
I tore open the box and carefully took out the contents and placed them on the kitchen table. In front of me was a stack of plates created by yours truly ranging from the year 1988 all the way through 2000. As I transferred the new cargo from the table to our cupboard, I crossed my fingers that Sid wouldn’t mind these plates, many of them covered in scribbles, mixing with the nice china we received as a wedding gift.
Well, to be honest, I actually didn’t think that. You see, Sidney openly endorsed the idea of my mom making good on her long term plan to finally pass on the plates. As I mentioned, my parents put away a good portion of the plates but they also let some “live on” in the cupboards. When we would visit Spokane, Sidney was always tickled when she would “have the honor” of eating off one of them. When we were visiting last month, we expressed to my mom that we were ready to take them off her hands.
When Sloan gets a little older, I wonder what her reaction will be to eating off her dad’s plate from 1991, a full 26 years before she was even born. I hope she finds them as cool as we did and I also hope we let Sloan create her own set of plates as well.
Growing up, we didn’t have the newest Nintendo system or hottest toys in our house but we did have the best dinnerware. I thank my parents for taking the time to do such a loving and lasting activity with us. After thousands of meals served on those plates when they were in Spokane they now have a new shelf life 3,000 miles away in Myrtle Beach. Can’t wait to serve up some country cooking on them! Don’t Blink.