“When can I sit at the adult table?”
This is a question that will be murmured from the lips of tweens, 20-somethings and if you are in our family, possibly 40-somethings this week. When your family tree spreads out like ours, a holiday meal cannot be contained to one dining table. In our tradition of holidays there is always more than one table. While there is a table for the adults I’ve never made it that far. My cousins and I have all clearly gotten older but we never graduated to an adult table.
In fact, I think my last Thanksgiving at home I was actually married and had 2 children, but I still was at the kids’ table! So this week it got me thinking if I would actually want to be at the adult table if we were to have a reunion of sorts. Let’s face it, the cousins, significant others and stragglers are at the “kids” table. It’s where the action would be now that we are older!
Now before I get too excited about our grown-up Thanksgiving it may be helpful to understand a little back story on how it used to go down in our younger years.
The differential in the tables themselves are really the best place to start. The adult table was generally the dining table of whatever family member was hosting Thanksgiving. It was a sturdy construction intended for the eating of meals.
The kids’ table by contrast was the cobbling together of card tables, metal folding chairs, piano benches, wicker chairs or whatever else might be a serviceable place to sit your bum. At times it was such a precarious situation that if someone got up to get seconds, or a napkin the rest of us still seated needed to hold onto the table to be sure our table didn’t tip taking our holiday helpings with it. As a rule we all tried to get seconds at the same time! I would also like to add that booster seats and folding chairs are not typically a good combination, just in case you are making plans.
Other things the adults’ table had that ours didn’t included wine, homemade dinner rolls, sometimes real plates and glass drinkware. We on the other hand were hoisting red Solo cups before Toby Keith informed us of their proper use.
Are you feeling the vibe yet? No? Well, imagine this is all going down and the adults who are merely 12 inches away seemingly have not a care in the world. They are laughing and appear to be annoyed that we want more homemade yeast rolls. I mean what glorious thing is happening over there that asking for rolls is inconvenient? Oh, that’s right they are plotting the schedule for kitchen cleanup that includes those of us who are taller than the kitchen sink. But don’t feel sorry for us, they helped by hovering to make sure we properly cleaned the 150 pots and pans that were used to cook the dinner that took us 12.5 minutes to eat! Just as we would get to the tail end of cleanup the desserts would start to come out. Whipped cream was being made and more dishes were being taken out of the hutch. For the love of God, we aren’t even done drying yet! However, the anticipation of dessert made the slave labor, I mean cousins, shift into overdrive to get those dishes done.
And just like that we were back at the kids’ table! Good memories!
In recent years, as our families have grown and those who once inhabited the kids’ table have little rugrats of their own we’ve broken it down and split off into our own little planets for the day of Turkey or Tofurkey as it were. But if we were to get together again a few things would definitely be different.
Our table would never be unstable. Between my cousins Tucker and Brent they have collectively built pole barns, homes, finished basements and if you’re Tucker created a life-size version of Jenga. I feel confident with some duct tape and a paper clip our table would never be in danger of tipping over. Tucker would likely have a bottle of Jack on him so while we might still be drinking out of red Solo cups they’d be properly filled with holiday spirits. And at that point do you care if you are sitting on a piano bench that has sharp corners that you repeatedly try to dislocate your knee cap on every time you walk by? Likely not!
Happy Thanksgiving Baby Lisa, Julie, Tucker, Brian, Alicia, Maria, Brent, Tommy, Tracy, Seth, Beth and Brendan. Here’s to one day sitting at the Kids’ table again.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G