once at the kids’ table, always at the kids’ table

i have a big family. and for me, big family means big get-togethers — yummy food, fun games, aunts and uncles laughing, nieces and nephews screaming, merriment and chaos abound.  i remember this dynamic first taking place when i was 3 or 4 (whenever it is that you first start remembering things), when i was one of the rug-rats running around the kitchen as my dad and uncles argued over who was gonna carve the turkey.

uncle gary won the battle this year

and as my mom and aunts announced that they had changed up the stuffing recipe this year, so look out!

they added raisins. that was the secret.

at age 4, i had a prime-time seat reserved at the center of the kids’ table – a table that could be recognized by the familiar fisher-price decor – chairs, plates, cups, and utensils: all plastic. all classy.

i was joined by such regulars as cousin asher (3), cousin tammy (4 and a half), cousin ariana (5), cousin heidi (6), and brother david (7), and maybe an 8 or 9 year-old who didnt make the adults’ table cut. everyone wanted to make the adults’ table cut. i think that was the goal in life. but for some reason, it didnt bother me that we sat a little lower to the ground. we ate the same turkey as them, so why should i care? i happily stuffed my face and made fart jokes, and played “would-you-rather” with the rest of the kids’ table, doing what kids do best.

enjoying a meal with a few of the regulars

but as the years went on, i noticed that certain regulars had been graduated from our special table, and had moved on to join the adults. i had still not made the cut, even after faithfully serving for 10 or 15 years, every year watching more and more of my comrades leave me behind.  i started to wonder what i was missing out on. what made that adult table so damn intriguing for everyone else?

finally i decided that i needed to figure it out. so one year, i threw my loyalty out the window and managed to squeeze a corner seat at the adults’ table. i sat there, not touching my food, just observing everything, waiting for the magic of the adults. waiting for what i had been missing out on for all of these years. the adults talked about how the weather was getting cold. and then they talked about the stock market. and then they talked about the difference between splenda and equal. just riveting conversation. it didnt take much more of this to make me realize that there was nothing magical about the adults’ table. this is where people go to become boring.

after a few minutes, i excused myself and pulled up a familiar plastic chair at a slightly lower plastic table, returning to my u-7 friends, vowing to eat my thanksgiving dinner at the kids’ table for the rest of my life.

-michael

PS I am thankful for:

– the kids’ table.

– matti and dan, cuz i’m pretty sure they would represent the kids’ table with me.

what are you thankful for?

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5 thoughts on “once at the kids’ table, always at the kids’ table

  1. Kim says:

    This post made me get a little ferklempt. I am thankful for Lady Danville!

  2. Brian says:

    This reminded me of a very funny article. It is “a Conversation at the Grownup Table, as Imagined at the Kids’ Table”

    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2007/03/26/070326sh_shouts_rich

  3. jeanie Shultz says:

    What a great story ..puts things in perspective!! You make me want to go back to the kids table … love it ! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving all 3 of you guys !!

  4. Sarah says:

    I remain, now and forever, at the kids’ table. The adults’ table is not only boring, but extremely negative, as well. One minute, I’m talking to my uncle about my plans for graduate school, and the next minute, he’s talking about the devastation of the real estate market. Although, there is not currently a designated “kids’ table” in my family, I will sit there in spirit.

    *I am thankful for my brothers and sister, who are the weirdest, coolest, funniest, and best friends I will ever have…and who will sit with me at the kids’ table for many years to come.

  5. lady danville fans all love the kids’ table, even when we have to sit with the grownups. Where else can you put olives on all your fingers? 🙂

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