Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kitchen Table

The table. A gathering place. A meeting place. A place to work puzzles, do homework, type a blog. The table.

This morning the Today show had a segment on the table and family interaction. Is this place to gather and the gathering time fading into the past? In our new living situation, my daughter is seldom here since she works hours that seem to change day to day. The girls and I have table time, but we miss Mommy.

While my daughter and I sat watching the show, a reality smacked me right in the face. We don't talk. I wonder if we have ever had a true conversation. I'm a talker but that doesn't mean she needs to be one, too. Yet, I miss conversation. I miss recollection. I want this for our relationship, for the granddaughters. I want to know my daughter better.

I grew up sitting around the kitchen table. It was the activity hub of the house. We always ate together in the kitchen. When visitors came, we sat at the kitchen table. The kitchen might have been the most important room in our house.

When working in the theater in the 80's, my kids were tag-alongs with the stage often our 'table', the place where we spent many hours. Did we talk?

Did we have conversations learning to express ourselves, learning to resolve problems, reminiscing? I'm not sure we did. How could I have forgotten the importance of that table when my kids were younger? Did money, jobs, my life as a single mom bury those important memories around the kitchen table?

I don't want the kitchen table to become obsolete. I want the girls to grow up with family stories as did I as a child. I knew all about my parents' pasts through conversations in the kitchen. I learned about me as a small child in the same place. My life has been made richer because of the conversations over a span of my eighteen years sitting at that table.

The girls love hearing about them as small children. Sometimes we pull out the photo basket. They ask questions and history comes alive. Once in awhile I give them a 'cousin' quiz, pictures of cousins they have yet to meet.

Conversations change with grandchildren over time. I try to change with them. I am responsible for that 'kitchen table' in my home. Maybe this is why my visits with my sisters are so important. They remember the kitchen table. We talk for hours on end. We learned how sitting on colorful vinyl chair around a table full of Mother's good cooking.

I am a table....a kitchen table.

1 comment:

  1. If the kitchen is the heart of the house, the table is the heart of the kitchen.