Growing up, our kitchen table was the heart of our home. It was where we settled after school, ate a snack and did our homework. Every night we gathered as a family for dinner. One of the chairs, the one closest to the back door was where we say each morning so that my mom could do our hair, usually a braid. Chairs were added when company came and the table became crowded. For every celebration, milestone, and every day moment, the kitchen table was at the center of it all.
When we first bought our home, pre-kids, we picked out a high top table. It became the heart of our home, where we ate dinner together, did work, and gathered with friends and family. But as soon as our oldest daughter was ready to join us at the table, it was clear that this table would not do.
For Christmas that year, my parents surprised us with a new table and chairs. I remember seeing Wren sitting at the table for the first time, using all her might to climb up on one of the big wooden chairs, and feeling like all was right in the world. Our home had a heart.
Today, our kitchen table serves as my home office, a preschool, kindergarten, and second grade classroom, and a place for projects. It’s also the place, where these days, we are able to gather every night for a family dinner…something that didn’t happen regularly during the work week just two weeks ago. Most days, we push aside the devices, books, and writing utensils that now call our table home. It’s messy and chaotic, kind of like our lives, but it’s our gathering place and the heart of it all.