There’s one in almost every home. While it may look different across the globe it’s a centralizing location that many families spend a great deal of time around. If any inanimate object could give you a glimpse into the family, this is it. Ladies and gentlemen, meet — The Kitchen Table.
Let’s put on our imaginecaps for a minute (sometimes I forget to take mine off which gets me into trouble ;)) and pretend we could actually have a conversation with this familiar household companion.
Me: “So what are they [the family] like?”
Kitchen Table: “Hungry! HA HA! I crack myself up.”
Kitchen Table: “Alright, alright. I’ll give you the scoop on ’em. They’re an imaginative bunch! When the kids were little, they thought I was ticklish. No really! Every time they sat down they’d trace the patterns of oak on my tabletop with their pudgy babyfat fingers and whenever they were really excited they would smack me with their tiny palms and squeal. I don’t mind. I never mind. Those baby whack-a-mole moments are nothing to holding up countless Christmas dinners for hours on end! Those babies are grown now but I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember those dinners too – boisterous and lively at the beginning, satisfying and reflective at the end. I’ve certainly heard every excuse in the book for getting out of doing the dishes!”
Me: “What do they talk about?”
Kitchen Table: “What don’t they talk about? I’ve heard it all my friend. Politics, religion, band practice, crushed dreams, dance rehearsal, conversations consisting entirely of movie quotes, quiet disappointments, rambunctious successes, wedding plans. Even the silence. Well.. especially the silence.”
Me: “Would you say your role in the family has changed over the years or remained the same?”
Kitchen Table: “Hmm. That’s an interesting question. I’d say my role in this home has subtly shifted from a piece of furniture to a place of familiarity. I am a people gatherer, no man’s land, the therapist’s couch, the game board, and the conference table. If you tried to tune me, like a piano, my chords are ungraceful but rich — laughter, sneezes, birthday wishes, choking sobs, and sloppy kisses. I have always functioned as a kitchen table, I’ve never failed to be a kitchen table. But I became something much much bigger.”
Me: “Do you think they’ll ever get rid of you?”
Kitchen Table: “Oh I’d assume so. My creaks are becoming hard to ignore and the finger-traced creases are gradually expanding into crevices. Sure I think they’ll get rid of me, but I don’t mind. They’re a part of me now, you know? They’re a part of me and I’ll never really be ‘rid’ of ’em.”
Me: “Could you share a favorite memory with me?”
Kitchen Table: “New Years Day.”
Kitchen Table: “It’s the day that everyone in the family sat around me (sometimes on top of each other) and shared their goals for the upcoming year. As they laughed and made fun of each others’ crazy aspirations there was an atmosphere of camaraderie, of hope and exploration. A new year! An adventure unlike any other! I loved new years because I love this family. I love when they’re together, who they are, who they’re becoming and I loved watching them imperfectly live out those dreams for the remaining 364 days of the year.”
Me: “Awesome. Thanks! You don’t mind if I finish my lunch here do you?”
Kitchen Table: “Nope. I don’t mind. I never mind.”
*BACK TO REALITY – i.e. take off the imaginecap*
OK. In reality, kitchen tables can’t talk, don’t talk, and won’t talk but it’s fun to think about. What would your kitchen table say about you? Your family? Keep in mind that while we are not being analyzed, studied, and understood by inanimate objects — someone is always watching. Not necessarily in the creepy “Big Brother” sense (although…*peers around the corner*) but in the natural, we are in each other’s lives shoulder-to-shoulder, facebook-to-facebook, blog-to-blog kind of sense. We’re saying something with words and with silence and communicating our values with our resolutions and lifestyles. One day people may gather around a kitchen table and talk about you, your life, your legacy. What will they say? What did you so clearly communicate to them with your life?
For me? I sincerely hope and pray it’s a tenacious joy founded in the gospel of Jesus Christ that permeated everything I did and said. Oh, and a deep appreciation for dessert. 🙂