Today I bought a vintage hope chest, to work on and refinish as a project with my oldest daughter.
For being a solid decade older than myself, it’s in pretty good shape. All it will need is a corner of lifting veneer reglued and a fresh coat of clear shellac to bring it back to its early 1960s prime.
But I didn’t buy it because it is made of beautiful walnut wood with amazing graining, or because it is built to construction standards you cannot even find in furniture today, or because it’s worth $200 more than I paid even in current condition. Not that any of that is not enough, but I bought it for another reason.
I bought it because it’s time for my daughter and I to start talking in ernest about the idea of maturing from girl to woman, and of marriage. And preparing for marriage. And what that means.
I am not even sure if they still make hope chests to this day, or market them to every girl of a certain age in high school with a free tiny cedar box, but they used to back in my day and in generations before.
I remember when I brought my tiny cedar box home from high school, excited about the idea of a hope chest, and how my mom nipped that idea in the bud right quick. (I still have the little box, but never got a hope chest.)
In my mom and many of her generation’s mind, hope chests represented a thing of the past. Gone, she believed, were the days were a girl needed to put things to start a home aside, dream of a good man, and plan to bring something to the table to start a new life with him when that time came. As a team.
As I have written multiple times in the past, perhaps it was well intended “modern” advice, to put off marriage and kids as long as possible while focusing instead on self, but in reality it was disastrous (socially speaking.) No. That experiment has failed. Clearly.
I think it’s time to bring back the idea of the hope chest and all it represents.
I look forward to restoring this sweet little chest with my daughter and the many discussions about all of that that will come.
Luckily my oldest is a sensible girl, she’s not boy crazy, and she’s not wanting to date even though she is the age where many would have racked up multiple notches already on too young of a belt.
I hope and pray that she will wait, find her other half, hitch up, and live happily ever after. Without all the drama, trauma, and heartache “dating loads of guys first” can bring.
I hope that she will wait for her one and only and that they will be together for their entire lives.
What mom with any sense would not wish that for her daughter? Or not encourage her to indulge in the idea of a hope chest and fill it with the best of dreams?
Happily ever after is a good thing to dream of, plan for, work toward, and stick to.
I look forward to supporting that adventure!
What do you think? Please share in the comments!