My kitchen table is the dining room table I grew up with. It has a lot of history. Years ago, a family friend’s dad refinished it. The table extends with multiple leaves, and he refinished the table, leaves, and chairs, as well as built a couple additional leaves to extend it even farther, since the new extension slides he installed allowed for more space. I have created many memories around the table.
Now, I get to make more memories around the table with my daughters and their families, as well as many friends. Recently, my oldest granddaughter spent the night. She sits on the side of the table where she can access multiple leaves, and the cracks can be distracting. She pointed to one and asked,
It’s the table.
No, what’s THAT?
Um, the leaves? They’re the extra pieces of the table that make it the size I want.
No! What’s THAT???
I looked more closely before responding,
The peg? That’s what holds the pieces of the wood together. We push it all together so it’s one piece.
Yes, Grandma. The table is hugging.
Well, yes, that’s one way to look at it.
I love the creativity of a young one’s mind. And she’s right in more ways than one. That table feels full of hugs for me. Not that every memory made around it has been wonderful. There have been arguments around the table, too. There have been poor reactions to lost board games. There have been serious and difficult conversations. There has been frustration over homework. And laughter—lots of laughter. It’s been sprinkled with craft supplies. My girls’ friends have gathered for pizza parties and birthday parties. I’ve hosted ministry meetings and small group discussions. Some family members can no longer join our gatherings. Some people I thought would be family members for life have left the table on their own. Yet that table is still full for me.
The memories are the pegs that hold it together, and it creates a huge hug. I’m thankful my granddaughter reminded me in simple way.
Thanks, God, for the hug of memories—yesterday’s and today’s.