When Coco was three, I decided to repaint the kitchen. I removed the cabinet doors, filled the holes with wood putty, primed everything, and finished the uppers. Half finished, what was done looked great. Then life got in the way. I was the stay-at-home mom of two preschoolers. I had to ask myself. What possessed me to disrupt our lives with three gallons of red alkaloid enamel?
Three years later, Coco is six. My brother and sister-in-law came to help after I was hospitalized with an inner ear problem. It was during this dizzy spell that my sister-in-law, Cookie, volunteered to paint the lowers. For the better part of three years, she looked at those disassembled, distressed kitchen counters. She saw an opening. Unable to pass a sobriety test, my pride was down, and my defenses were weak.
I’m aware that I don’t deserve these two. My sister-in-law was willing to be stained permanently by a less than conventional color choice. My brother made a dozen trips to Home Depot and Sherwin Williams when the first can of paint looked more like Mercuricrome than Fire Engine. By the end of the week, the lowers matched the uppers, and the silverware drawer (broken the day we moved in) no longer fell out when I tried to retrieve a spoon. My neighborhood friends wanted to know where they could get a Cookie and a BBC2. I had to break the bad news. They’re both one of a kind.