Our dining room table has been the setting of many dinners, discussions and memories. We bought this table about ten years ago when we used to have extra money and time to walk through furniture stores and just look. Those were the PK Days…Prior to Kid Days.
This table has held Sunday brunch and festive cocktails but on most days…it was bare. I liked it like that; however, I didn’t know what I was missing or what was ahead.
Then, the arrival of the kid and the table was transformed into the baby book station. I was determined to use decorative papers and borders and stickers to celebrate all the accomplishments. I was really determined to complete that book…until my son started walking. I think seven years later, I’m still working on that same page that was so important at that time.
When my son was three, the table was overtaken by art. He went through a painting phase, a glitter phase, a sticker phase, and an Elmer’s glue phase. There was also a mixed medium phase where creativity flowed. In those days, his style could have been described as a “more is more” philosophy.
The art phase was present for about two years and then, as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared and was replaced by the Lego Era.
During the Lego Occupation, the table provided a big enough surface to organize the 500 + piece sets before starting the building. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the organization process itself required some resting and recovery after it was spread out just so. We got used to that sound when a piece hit the wood floors and bounced to an unknown location until an unsuspecting barefoot person steps on said piece of Lego and shrieks in pain.
When the Lego phase arrived, I was used to pushing half-completed projects off to the side so that we could eat dinner together. I had to learn to resist the urge to clean up the projects or finish them once he was asleep.
Our table has seen a new direction this week. We are eating dinner by candlelight.
Three candles are taken off the hutch and put in the center of the table. TV is turned off and sometimes favorite songs are requested to provide the background for our retelling of the day. He approves the scene like a director, slightly adjusting the placement of the candlesticks and the volume of the music.
There are real conversations with words AND eyes. Some of you will understand completely when I say that the eyes are only present now because his stress is starting to evaporate.
At the end of dinner, it is traditional that my TBP blows out the candles; he laughs when there is more smoke than expected and it consistently engulfs me each time.
I hope this new table tradition sticks around for a while before it is replaced by a new one. This has become a favorite part of the day for me.
What happens around your dinner table?