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The Table: Reflections on Family


tableWhen my husband and I got married 13 years ago my grandmother bought us a dining room table. It was one of the few new pieces of furniture in our apartment among the many hand-me-downs that compose the classic style of decor for young adults who are just starting out.

Our pretty oak table with four chairs followed us into our first house, across the country, and to two more homes, where we would welcome our first, second, and third child. Now that our youngest daughter is a toddler, we’ve really outgrown that table made for two. My parents have graciously gifted us their much bigger dining set with more chairs.

When we first received that table, it seemed to make a statement that we are adults! (Even though we continued to consume all of our meals on the couch until our first child started eating solids.) In the last year as this family has finally outgrown the now worn table, I think it has made a different statement.

For my son’s birthday I had the joy of sitting down to dinner with my husband, my three children, my parents, and two of my grandparents. We cobbled dining chairs, folding chairs, and even a couple of ridiculously high stools around the table so that we could all sit together. It was crowded and mismatched, but it worked.

That’s the memory I will take away from that table, which speaks to a greater idea that our family embodies. We will always find a way to make it work. It may not be graceful, it may not look like other family gatherings, but it will be good enough. Our love and our bond will be the glue that holds things together, however imperfectly, and there will always be room in our home and in our hearts for more loved ones at the table.


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