For some unknown reason, shortly after I first became engaged, I went out and brought a dining room table and 3 chairs for our future home! One of my favourite shops at that time was a furniture store and I would frequently wander around looking at pieces, opening smooth drawers and enjoying the satisfying click of cupboard doors as they gently closed. In amongst my favourite pieces was a dining room table that seated 6 but extended to cater for 10 and I fell in love.
I didn’t live with my husband until we were married so at that time I was living at home with my mum. It was totally irrational to buy a dining table before we sorted out wedding plans, let alone a place to live, but at the time it didn’t seem to matter.
After a quick consultation with my fiancé we brought it, and the 3 chairs they had in stock, and waited for it to be delivered. I then faithfully went back to the store every week until I was able to purchase 3 more chairs. The table top lived, enveloped in bubblewrap, under my bed and the chairs were stacked in the corner with the table legs waiting to be used…
Once we started hunting for our first home one of the top criteria was that it had room for our table and chairs. A breakfast bar and living space simply wouldn’t do! 16 years and 3 homes later, that table has been relegated to the office and we have a new dining table, but the chairs are still used whenever extra people gathering.
For many people the kitchen is the heart of the home but for me it’s the dining room. Whether it’s simply coffee & cake with a friend, or a large dinner party, I love having people gather around our table, but the best times are the simply daily routines of our family life.
Each morning starts with our family gathering around the table for breakfast. Sometimes together, sometimes in shifts, but we all start the day with food and someone else knowing what’s lies ahead and is cheering us on. After going our separate ways for the day we gather again around the table in the evening and share our news. We discuss our highs and lows, our successes and failures. With 3 children mealtimes can be loud and noisy, arguments can break out, drinks can be spilt and mess made, but it’s all worth it for those golden moments when everyone simply enjoys being together. Memories are made as the plates are cleared, the coffee brewed and we linger at the table talking and playing games.
When I was first engaged I didn’t realise the impact that first purchase would have on our family. It’s hard to co-ordinate everyone in the morning so no one eats alone, but I’m glad we have a habit our starting our day together. It’s hard to resist the temptation to have dinner on trays in front of the telly, but I’m thankful we face each other and not just a screen. It can be hard dealing with the chaos of children and mealtimes, but I’m thankful for the lessons we all learn in those moments. It can be hard to not rush off quickly at the end of a meal to tackle that next task, but I’m thankful for the moments when we choose to linger.
It’s hard to know why a buying a table was so important to me at that time, but I’m thankful for all the memories it’s created.