I’ve got this really great kitchen table.  To the untrained eye, it looks like an old table and chairs. Smooth surface, rounded edges on the corners on the table. Each chair looks like the other…but do they? At closer look, you can see the teething marks left by little ones sitting around the table, no doubt due to time sitting in a booster chair coloring or having fishie crackers and milk. Scuff marks on the legs of the table and chairs which probably came from the multiple years of soccer/softball/football cleats, boots or high heals rubbing against them while sitting and having a conversation or waiting fora snack before a game or a dance . You see I know these marks, every single one of them, because they were put there by my cousins, myself and the Danger Twins when we/they were little. This was the table we would sit at when we would go to my grandparents house. Christmas cookies were set out on Christmas Eve to holiday and birthday cards on the table. It was the focal point of Lil’s kitchen. And this is where the Danger Twins and I sit every night and have dinner, where we share, check in, discuss our day or what is on our mind. We are adding another generation of memories to that table.

The topics as of late have been, well pretty heavy. Everything from the closing of the Drakes Bay Oyster Company to the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT. Oh make no mistake, we are having a lot of laughs and fun too while sitting at that table. But when Mr. B asked what would happen to all the people that live and work at the oyster farm, I gave them the facts. As hard as it was, I explained to them about how another agriculturist has lost their business and many others have lost their jobs too…even people who don’t directly work for the oyster farm. We talked about just how many jobs  that each farm or ranch creates…which most people don’t realize. Every time we loose a farm or ranch, there are several jobs outside of the operation that go with it.

But the hardest to questions to answer around that table were not the ones about Christmas or lack there of, but rather the horrific events that took place last Friday in Newtown, CT. The Danger Twins, like a lot of children of divorced families, are aware of grown up realities of life. They unfortunately understand what it is like to deal with loss, loss of family or security, but also have grown up worries like will we have heat, power or presents under the tree. So there were no questions about “why” this happened or “how” could someone do this….the questions were how can we help and can it happen at our school.

Like I said, pretty heavy stuff around that table. But instead of me giving the answers, I decided to have a discussion…giving them a chance to really talk out their feelings. We didn’t talk about the act itself…well really we just talked. Like most kids, they just wanted to be heard…they didn’t want the adult to talk over them and give the final answer. And again I was in awe at the thoughtfulness and compassion they shared in the conversation.

Good or bad, these are the memories that will be part of that kitchen table- with many more to come I’m sure! My hope is that one day the next generation will sit down, remember the stories that go along with the teeth & rub marks and add to the history of that table. This is the best gift I could have ever received and truly is the “gift that keeps on giving“!

My holiday wish for all of you is that you too, create memories around your table that will last a life time.

Happy Holidays!