The Kitchen Table

People are always dashing about around the house….everyone taking care of their own things. Eventually, for some miraculous reason, everyone pulls up a chair at the kitchen table, which for many becomes the center of the home. The table not only provides food, but conversations, smiles and a chance to re-connect. We learn to get along with each other at the kitchen table.

The coffee, the tea, the food provide our physical nourishment at our table….but of equal value, hopefully, the instilling of security, strength and encouragement is provided for our minds and souls, to accomplish their work. Taking a seat at the table are the children, the open minds hanging on Mom and Dad’s every word to show them the way. At first the parents lead the table…but over time the children assert their ideas and thoughts to a higher degree. The guidelines of the family are discussed everyday between the lines at the kitchen table. Everybody shares their point of view, whether they say it or not. Actions sometimes do speak louder than words. Silence, too, has meaning.

We’re all supposed to be viewed equally at the kitchen table, but at times it doesn’t turn out that way. We are all members of the family, equally important to its health, but sometimes the best of parents can let that slip by. The rules and regulations of the table differ from family to family, but they are implemented. Everybody eventually knows how it works….including a very important member of the “club”….who too expresses his or her point of view….the family pet! Pets have tremendous power….when our dog, cat or bird has something to say, it is not uncommon for all the conversation at the table to stop instantaneously and give the floor to the pet of choice.

I being a parent am fully aware of the impact of the kitchen table. Whether I feel good or bad, I know I’m still “Mom.” It’s not unusual to hear around the house “Mom said this, Mom said that.” Even to my little dogs…”Mom” is watched. I guess spread across the table each morning is a blank canvas that as the day unfolds each member of our family contributes to the picture. At the end of the day that picture represents us as a family unit. The colors, the shapes and the depth of our canvas contain the ingredients of who we are.

Birthdays, holidays, and celebrations may take place in the diningroom with the best glasses, china and utensils…but hovering close by, watching, is our “trusty” kitchen table…where eventually we all gravitate to finish our conversations. The kitchen table has heard it all….

Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1999 Jennifer Avalon

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