Okay, where are you right now? Are you by any chance sitting at a table, or did you just get up you’re your dining table? I’ve been thinking about the role of tables in my life, specifically in getting to know grandchildren.
Have you ever thought about the role tables may play in your life? Are you aware of the impact tables play currently? Join me in a conversation about tables because tables where loved ones gather for meals, conversation or paper work are more than a design, a family heirloom, or even a card table ready for a game or a shared meal. Tables join hearts, at least they have for me.
One morning, after finishing daily devotions, I thought about granddaughters starting college this year. And I began thinking about the hours spent at tables with all of my grandkids.
In one home, I parked myself at the end of the dining table. I lingered after meals. I sometimes put down an interesting mystery novel right at the climactic moment to reclaim that seat when I heard two granddaughters chatting. They spent a lot of time at that table. They were homeschooled for years so that table served as a classroom. They surfed the net at that table, using it as a mini-office. And they shared their lives with one another at that table. Sometimes I joined the conversation but more often I listened. I learned their passions, their dreams, their disappointments, their successes, what made them laugh, what made them cry. I eavesdropped on conversations with their friends, some there in person, some not. I know these young women better because I parked at that table when we visited.
I know another granddaughter in a different home better because I often parked myself at their eat-in-counter or at the nearby dining table. I’d often be writing on my laptop. I knew if I waited patiently, this granddaughter would show up. She tended to drift in and out. In to fix a bagel, and gone; in to claim a space at the counter to use her laptop and gone; in with a friend to giggle, talk and fix food and then gone. I came to know this young woman by occupying the room where I had the best chance of filling my heart’s eyes with the sight of her and gathering insight in these quick but meaningful encounters.
In the family where there were four grandchildren, I opted for tables in restaurants, taking each of them out for one on one meals, well two on one as their granddad was there too. I remember when one of them was astonished to discover a nearby café served more than ice cream. I promised to take him out the next year and he could order anything he wanted off that menu. That boy has a good memory because he didn’t let me forget. (I remembered but smiled at the reminder.)
Now most of these grandchildren are out of the home nest, not all but most. We stay connected via texts and emails but that connection would not be as strong if I hadn’t spent table time with them.
My life is richer, fuller, blessed because of the role tables played in our relationships. And that holds true for extended family and friends too. I’ll bet I can get another blog out of table talk and table time. What do you think?