My husband & I bought this table when we were living in Minneapolis getting ready to host our first Friends Thanksgiving. We realized that as our guest list grew our options of seating were dwindling. So one day,while I was working, my husband & a friend of ours scoured The Cities for a table that would suit us. They ended up finding a brand new table which I have to say at that time in our lives was a novelty as we were still in the mismatched, used, hand-me-down furniture phase. The table was less than $300 & the great thing was that it had a leaf that folded in to the table & when fully raised it could accommodate up 8-10 people comfortably. We were set for our feast! The not-so-great thing was that it didn't come with any chairs & our budget was used up at that point.
Thus our first of many Thanksgiving dinners with friends began with everyone bringing their own chair to sit in. It was a mismatched & imperfect gathering of chairs, but it was a full & joyous gathering. That is the thing I seem to need perspective about so often in this season of mothering young kiddos. Without it I can easily get amnesia. On the mornings that I look around my kitchen in disgust I typically either shift into guilt mode: "Can't believe I let it get like this. What a slacker mom I am that I can't stay on top of it. I hope no one stops by." Or I shift into To-Do list mode where I can't stop to play with the boys much less slow down long enough to answer a question they may have. I get obsessed with the items on my list & crossing them off. I also write things down I have already done & then cross them off to make myself feel even more efficient. Anyone else? Seriously try it if you don't already do it. Makes you feel a ton more productive. There is no shame. Don't get me wrong about the lists & accomplishing things & even cleaning those are not bad things at all. We are grown-ups and have grown-up things that need to get done at times. Just for me those "things" can sometimes get in the way of living life.
Will my kids remember that we had a jacked-up table or will they remember making the messes & the memories that came along with it? Will they remember always having a full cupboard of clean dishes or will they remember me saying "Can't right now I have to do the dishes"? Even though I am no domestic diva I can at times let the to-do's prioritize me rather than me prioritizing them. Sometimes I see the crumbs & dirty dishes as my failings rather than as evidence of lives being lived in my home. I see the "imperfections" as a negative & not as the obvious in-my-face reminders of how amazingly full my life is. I am hopeful that when my boys grow up & reflect back on their childhood that the memories they hold closest to them will not be the cleanliness of our house, but that it was just dirty enough to be a happy home. And I am hopeful that I will not get amnesia about the "imperfections" as often & will instead look around & be thankful for the beautiful mess that is my life.