Our dinner table has been the setting for a lot of interesting sights over the years. It’s seen hundreds of hours of conversation, plenty of arguments, some disciplinary situations, and much laughter.
Sitting on my preferred end of the table today, with Younger Sister working on homework opposite me, I rewound through years of our table’s many incarnations and the many scenes that have taken place around it:
-The Boy explaining the Bernoulli effect (basically, what keeps planes in the air), his version of light dinner conversation, every chance he could get. Mainly just to bother those of us who didn’t particularly care.
-The dinner when a friend of The Boy, in the midst of a conversation about oceans and different continents, asked in all seriousness, “But if you tried to get to Australia from here, wouldn’t you just fall off the edge?” He was ever after dubbed within our family “Flat Earth Phillip.”
-Work surface for the husband’s never-ending household repair projects
-“Potions Class” for Oldest Sister’s Harry Potter birthday party, using every available variety of Izzy soda
-Play dough and water coloring table for more rainy days than I could count.
-A holding zone for an enormous plastic jar containing a BLACK WIDOW SPIDER The Boy and his cousin found at Grandma’s house. When it laid eggs I insisted on its immediate release as far away from home as possible.
-Game table for Scrabble, Bananagrams, Monopoly, and telephone pictionary
-Office space for bill paying, tax returns, the dreaded FAFSA, and a daunting number of college apps and scholarship apps
-Construction table for three years’ worth of physics group projects – three mousetrap-powered cars, three Rube Goldbergs, and three catapults. For some reason these group projects always took place at our house.
This is the table that had one whole edge rubbed bare where Oldest Sister’s arm casts rested against it (in kindergarten and then again in 6th grade). It’s the table Younger Sister and I refinished the summer we were binge-watching “Lost” on Netflix – 11 episodes in one day while sanding and painting.
It’s where we ate dinner together while we compared notes, firmed up plans, shared the highs and lows of our days. It’s where we became a real family. Our table is empty much of the time these days, and even a dinner with the three of us who are left in the house is a rare occasion. I’ve thought about replacing the poor old thing, with its often-repaired chairs and its scratched top. But I can’t bear to get rid of it. It fits. It fits our home, and it fits our life. Thanks for the memories, table.