It’s so much more than a table.
Growing up, my family’s kitchen table was the sun around which everything in our home took orbit. (My apologies to Copernicus who believed the sun orbited the earth. To him, this analogy would be confusing. Can you imagine?)
Our family ate our meals at the table, talked on the phone at the table (alas, the phone was still connected to the wall by a long, spiral cord), did homework at the table, shared family worship at the table, and carried long-into-the-night conversations at the table. (I learned about both life-changing moves our family would make at the table–and I both decided to dump and marry in the same assigned spot–two different men, I should clarify.)
We each had assigned seats and–even when we weren’t eating meals–we gravitated toward “our spot.” So I could relate to a gravestone I once saw which read, “Your spot at the table is empty.” It was more than a reference to last night’s main course.
It is safe to say that much of what I learned, I learned at the kitchen table.
When I hear that families are avoiding the kitchen table–in lieu of fast food booths or paper plates in the living room while watching the favorite show–I wonder what will be missed. It isn’t so much the chair or wooden construct itself that kept me grounded through the years.
But in so many ways, it was the kitchen table.