One of my Thanksgiving memories is the kid’s table. Often, there were so many people in attendance a kid’s table was set up to hold the overflow. You were arranged in seniority and couldn’t move to the “big” table until there was a vacancy. My father always found a reason to move to the kid’s table so that a lucky soul could join the adults. I don’t think he did this because the kid’s were served turkey and dressing first or we got to eat dessert before anyone else. Nor do I know think he did it to be excused like the kids to watch football while the adults had to make nice and talk for what seemed to be forever.
I also remember being insanely jealous of my sister, Patti when she got to move up, only to realize when I got to move up how much I realized the kid’s table was a much more happening place. The big table represented more than age, it became a symbol of acceptance, only to realize it wasn’t necessarily all it was cut out to be. So this day before the Thanksgiving feast I wonder why my father always moved to the kid’s table, and I came up with this thought:
What is interesting and important happens mostly in places where there is no power. Nothing much of lasting value ever happens at the head table, held together by familiar rhetoric and tradition. Those who already sit there continue to glide along the familiar rut they have made for themselves. It’s always at the various kid’s tables of our life, that alter us. The kids’ tables are where the joy and idealism of youth sit. It is where dreams of the future and the taking of risks have a home. It’s where new traditions, laughter, and reckless abandon are allowed.
Or, maybe Dad just wanted the first piece of pumpkin pie.
May tomorrow bring everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and a seat at the Kid’s Table!
This post took me back a lot of years, and I have to agree: the action is at the kid’s table! Which makes me wonder… why don’t we oldsters take a lesson from the “junior table?” Leaving the political stuff, the work updates, the “whatever happened” to’s off the table, substituting instead inspiring conversation… perhaps including the young ones …
We’ve done that to a degree, but this dialogue is helping me rethink how family dinners can happen! Thanks, dear friend!