Growing up, whenever there was huge family gathering, there was the "kids" table. I'm sure many out there know what I'm talking about. All the adults got to sit together at the fancy table. Us kids, we got put in the kitchen, or the basement, or even a hall with extra table. And no, it was the furthest thing from fancy. Especially to us kids.
Growing up we all couldn't wait to be invited to the "adult" table. Then we would be taken seriously. Then we'd be important. We never really stopped realize what having a seat at the adult table would mean. It wasn't just a matter of adding a chair. That table was packed full! It was a matter of a spot vacating.
Our "kids" table fed many of us at one point. There was me and my two sisters and 6 other cousins. So 9 isn't too bad.
Sadly, as the years progressed, it wasn't just the adult table that lost people, our table lost people at it as well. I lost two cousins way too soon. Both in separate car accidents, years apart. Their loss is still felt to this day. The adult table lost my dad, and two uncles to divorce. We also gained an uncle. And we recently lost both my grandparents.
As this Thanksgiving approaches, I am again thinking of the "kids" table. I am still at it. And so is my husband, my two brother-in-laws, a cousin-in-law (when in town) and one soon to be cousin-in-law, who is already considered family. We have gained numbers. lol Which really means we have gained love. We're a big group now, us at the "kids" table.
There is still the "grown up" table. And yet we still remember them, and smile when we think of them. And their spirit is still with us, even if their chair is empty.
And now we have a new "kids" table. a "grandkids". My 3 girls sit at it, my 2 nieces, and when my cousin is in town... her son as well (and one day her new baby girl will as well).
Yes, we have 3 separate tables to fit us all. And yes, we all fit. That's a lot of people. That's a lot of love.
As we sit at our table (my sisters, and me and my hubby, and my cousins and their loved ones), we joke about the different tables now. We smile, we laugh, we swap stories. We enjoy each other and the food. But we also glance at the "adult/grown up" table. We notice the missing the spots. We realize that there will be more missing spots in the future. Eventually we all finally be at that table. And you know what, I don't think we look forward to it anymore. We look at that table now and smile at our loved ones, happy they are still here. Silently being thankful that we are not yet at that table.
The kids table. It once seemed like a curse or somehow demeaning (because as kids that you saw things). And now, I don't think any of us want to leave it. And as those of us with kids look down upon the "grandkids" table at our kids, we know what they are thinking. We know how they feel. And we know that one day, they too will be all to glad to be at that table.