This morning while trolling through my blogger dashboard I came across a post of a woman with six young children who described her money is no object “dream.” Among other things, she wants a table big enough for her family of eight.
I remember when we bought our “big enough table.” Before the big enough table, we ate at a table that my husband made. I loved that table. The kids sat on a homemade bench while the grown-ups sat on folding, wooden chairs—I liked how the chairs looked, but I didn’t like how they pinched fingers and easily collapsed. The chairs had to go and eventually we bought a giant oak table and eight Windsor back chairs.
When we bought the “big enough table” I said, This is a forty year table. Since then, how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners? How many science, homework and sewing projects? How many Thanksgiving turkeys, bunny pancakes and Valentine cookies? Only four of the original chairs have survived. They’re so worn, I’ve covered them slip covers that match the fabric of the curtains and pads on the four new chairs. With both leaves locked in place, the table can easily seat twelve. The pale blond oak still shines when I oil it. It stands firm beneath me when I stand on it to clean the ceiling fan. Twenty years later, it’s hard to believe that my table has already survived half of its life expectancy. Maybe it’s a life time table.
Next year when the girls leave, maybe we’ll take out the leaves—but then where would we put the chairs? No, I think we’ll continue to eat at that big enough table, even when we are the lonely-onlys.