Mom’s Faithful Table

It’s about six feet long, four feet wide, made of a sturdy, old formica….and it knows all of my secrets.

If mom’s kitchen table could talk, I’d be in big trouble. It’s edges are lovingly worn from our elbows leaning, and our hands running across the smoothness as we share our hearts. My mother and I have many of the same habits, one of them being rubbing the edge of the table as we reveal our deepest fears, give advice, and help each other make this life less confusing.

I believe there is a phrase, “If tea cups could talk.” This is true, but I’d say wine glasses know more.

When I was in my twenties I thought I knew more than my mother. Everything she said irritated me and I was so horribly judgmental of her. After all, I was married with a child by age 22…..what did she know about that? (ummm, a lot) In my thirties I began to understand a little more. As I made some mistakes in life and felt some emotions that I recalled her going through when I was a child, my eyes opened to the fact that my mother was a fountain of wisdom and maybe possibly not just mom, but a…..woman?

Now in my forties, the wine or tea flow freely at least once a week at that formica table. I don’t just enjoy the time now….I need it. How often we’ve taken advantage of the fact that the children are playing or watching a movie in the playroom, the men are watching a sporting event in the living room, and the table sits empty. We don’t ask….we just know. Time to snag the table and open up about life.

I used to think that formica table was a bit tacky. I’d only buy real wood. I’d still choose real wood. But it dawned on me last night, that I could never see that sturdy, old table go. It’s like a friend now. A weaker table couldn’t have done the job. All of the leaning, the tears, the laughter, the spills, holiday dinners, birthday parties….. It’s been there for mom and I and many others, standing the test of time and never wavering.

Nope- I wouldn’t trade it for a more sophisticated piece. To some it’s just a table, but to me it’s a piece of history, and an oasis of safety and comfort in my life.