Have you ever sat back and just looked at your kitchen table?
The other night, after my three kids were asleep in bed, the house was quiet, the dinner dishes were cleaned up, and the leftovers were put away, I finally sat down at my kitchen table. I started thinking about how amazing my kitchen table is. Now before you think I’m too crazy, let me give you a little history about my table.
A little over thirty-five years ago, my parents bought that table when they moved into the house that I’m now raising my family in. It’s a very large, thick, solid wooden table. Each end can expand to insert leaves, making the total length about seven feet. I have vivid memories of sitting under that table as a child, looking up at the metal tracks where the ends slide in and out. I also have not so fond memories of hitting my head on those metal tracks. But mostly fond memories.
As I grew up, that table hosted many of our birthday parties, homework assignments, and art projects (some of which you can still see the remnants of, such as that time we tried wood-burning). Every Thanksgiving dinner, Easter brunch, and Christmas breakfast was enjoyed on that table. Family dinners at that table started out with both leaves in, a family of five crowded around it. Over the years as my sisters and I grew and eventually moved out, the leaves were taken out and the empty chairs moved to other parts of the house. When eventually it was just my Dad and I living here, the table became more of just a decoration, a reminder of times gone by.
Years later, when my husband and I would move back into this house, I remember my Dad asking if I wanted to keep that table. At the time it seemed excessively large and ‘old fashioned’. But I now also have a family of five and some days it doesn’t even seem big enough! I love looking at the various little imperfections in the woodgrain and thinking about how many little hands have run their fingers over them. The paint and marker stains that used to annoy me now bring a smile to my face thinking of the aspiring artists who left them there. As I drag out the extra chairs to make room for company around that table I love remembering the conversations that have been had there, the laughter and tears.
I honestly don’t think any other piece of furniture in this house brings me as much joy and fond memories as my kitchen table does. So, as you set your table this holiday season, whether it’s for hosting family from near or far, setting the stage for gingerbread house building, Menorah lighting, late-night gift-wrapping, or just being a place for you to sit and breathe at the end of a long day, I hope you find joy in making fond memories there!
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, has two sons, and baby daughter. Click here to read more of her Mommy Daze blogs.