One evening, while washing dishes, I looked down into the soapy water and noticed that one of our baking sheets had been dented. An injury, no doubt, succumbed by flinging dishes into a cabinet and shutting the door before they had a chance to fall. Upon further inspection, I noticed they were also scratched and stained. “When did these get so old?” I thought to myself and remembered their exact age.
Wedding gifts. Sweet gestures from our friends and family wishing us a full life of love and laughter. These gifts are only a few years old, and sadly don’t look “new” anymore. Their fresh-from-the-store shine is now dull. They have scratches like road maps. Grease stains, discolorations and an imprint from a recent “very crispy” dinner. Noticing that the newness was missing, made me feel sad. I immediately felt guilty – as if I had been unkind to our baking sheets. If their sparkle had worn off, doesn’t that mean they’re less special?
Then, my perspective changed. Suddenly, disappointment was replaced with joy …
What a blessing it is that our baking sheets aren’t new anymore.
Our scratched and scuffed baking sheets are evidence that there has been love in our home as we’ve wanted to cook and eat together. The shine was dulled each time my husband continued to pursue my heart, by making me dinner after a long shift at work. Each time I experimented with a new recipe, hoping he would love it, our baking sheet received another scratch, a tick mark, reflecting a smile on his face. We have longed for time spent at home over delicious meals. We’ve made sharing dinner time a priority. We have eaten wonderful home-cooked meals together and our not-so-new baking sheets are a sign of that.
These now dented baking pans are proof that we have lived in a house with electricity, and always had enough to put food on the table. Our stained baking sheets are evidence that our basic needs have been met over the past couple of years. You could tell by looking at our baking sheets, that we’ve not went hungry. The collection of “damage” we’ve succumbed these baking sheets to reveals that the contents of our fridge were never empty. Our hearts and bellies have been full, as evidenced by the baking sheets that no longer shine. I’m sure there are families that wish their own baking sheets had a little more stains and a little less sparkle.
Our baking sheets are also a reflection of our marriage. New and shiny at first, and then the scuffs and stains along the way, make them all the more charming. Each scratch, a memory etched in time. They’ve survived even the saltiest of my cooking fails, at the same time our marriage has endured my salty comebacks. And while the gleam of freshness may have worn off, those baking pans, like our marriage, are just as beautiful as the day they were presented to us.
Even if the newness of the baking sheets has rubbed off, they’ve been well loved. And like our baking sheets, the scuffs, bangs, dents, scratches and stains that have occurred in our relationship tell a delicious story about who we are and what we cherish. An artifact for years to come about our marriage. Trust me, these baking sheets aren’t being replaced anytime soon.
And while many people would wish you a marriage free from dents and scratches, I won’t wish you that, because I know it is not realistic. Instead, I wish for you to see those stains and discolorations and love them even more for their imperfections. Here’s hoping the sparkle on your baking sheets wears off real soon.
Cassity McCool-Solis is a boy mama and registered nurse deep in the heart of Texas with roots to her old Kentucky home. Cassity is a listener of podcasts, lover of sweet tea, and author of two children books: Who Could Love You More Than Me? and If You’re From the Mountains.