I love my dining table. We bought it right before Elizabeth was born, excited at the possibilities of family dinners, children in high chairs at it, and a “real” table instead of the TV trays we had been using. We bought a round one so that there was no “head of the table” but that there would be a communal feeling, a feeling of “just gather ’round”. We bought a big one- accidentally. I wanted one that could expand, but couldn’t find one with leaves, so the 60″ round was the one we settled on. It didn’t look as big in the store. Pottery Barn came out with a 48″ round one that could expand into an oval the year after we bought ours, but I still like the big round table. It’s hard to find a table cloth that big, so we have a rotating selection of placemats for different seasons, different moods.
Since we bought it, it has been been placed in 8 different houses, 5 different states, and a variety of rooms. Right now, it sits off the kitchen in our Great Room. The real dining room is too small for our table, so our dining room is an office.
It now has a big scratch on it, and it’s slightly wobbly from being broken down and set up again so many time. The long screws holding it together were replaced during one disasterous move when no screws were labeled for anything and nothing fit right again. We still have shelves missing from the bookcases. The chairs around it are more rickety and the handle of one lists and gives someone new a surprise when they lean on it. But the golden maple color is still shiny and warm and the base pedestal still solid. It still seats 8. 10 in a pinch.
Our table has been the scene of joint Thanksgivings when the family in PA with two children just our children’s age came to dinner and it was alit with golden placemats and children’s laughter, and Christmas dinners when Mamamum and Dampa travel to join us whereever we are for old traditions in new places. It’s where Jack taught Ray how to play Querkle. It’s where I piled food for a buffet for Game Nights during the long cold February nights, and for our Walk and Gawk during Derby. It’s been the location for homework to get done most school nights after dinner. It’s where I drink my tea and read for a few moment’s break. It’s not where James and I do our serious parent talks- those are in our bed- but it is where we have Family Meetings to discuss and share important decisions. It’s where we sit down most evenings as a whole family and individually throughout the day. Currently, Emily, Elizabeths BFF has a permanent spot at it because she eats dinner with us so often. Last night, it was the location of Ray’s early birthday party where his friends gathered round it to wish him Happy Early Birthday before Andrew left for the summer. It’s where Ray has learned to gabble our Orthodox Grace and he and James race each other through the prayer before we eat. I’m sure that God doesn’t mind the pace and understands the family love and humorous competition.
It’s a solid maple table, and solid as the center of our lives.