The colorful bowls nest into each other in bright reds, yellows and blues. The pans are clean, with nonstick bottoms, still shiny and relatively new. There are spices I’ve never used before.
This is what happens when your daughter is moving far away, and you’ve had the same pots and pans for at least 20 years, if not longer. Your daughter gifts you her “like new” stuff. I call it reverse nesting.
My daughter has been busy cleaning out her apartment, which is just a few miles from my home. She is preparing to get married and move to England. All new things await her there, where she will make her own nest with her British husband.
I’ll still be here, in the house she was raised in, and if not for her generosity, would still be using my old, messed-up, burned cookware. I’ve never found the time or the money to justify updating my kitchen equipment, and I haven’t cared that much. With a tight budget, my husband and I have opted to invest in our girls over the years, for things such as camp, SAT prep classes and college applications.
All the while, I was using my same kitchen stuff, aware of how old and awful it was getting. I kept telling myself I needed to stop being so cheap and buy new things. It’s not hard to find an inexpensive set of pots and pans, but stubbornly, oh so stubbornly, I didn’t do it.
Now, suddenly, I’m traveling in reverse. When my daughter moved into her apartment to attend graduate school two years ago, she needed new everything. She bought some stuff and received some as gifts, and we gave her some things, too. We bought her a new iron and ironing board, which she just gave back to us. The timing is perfect; we’ve had the same iron and board for years, and neither is in tiptop shape.
It was weird how my daughter texted me from her apartment, showing me pictures of the things she could bring me — the bowls, of course…