The Kids’ Table
Have you ever been relegated to the “kids’ table”? You know, there is a big family dinner. Not everyone fits in the dining room at the dining room table, so the youngest of the bunch gets relegated to the kitchen, AKA the “kids’ table.”
Yeah, that was the story of my life. I was the third of three girls, my sisters being 6 and 4 years older than me. My aunt and uncle, who we were the closest to because sisters married brothers, had 7 children. When we got together with our maternal grandparents for a holiday, there was not enough room at the dining room table for all of us to fit. Therefore, there was the grownups’ table, and the “little kids” were relegated to the “kids’ table” in the kitchen. When I was little, it didn’t matter, but as I got into adolescence, I wanted to be with the grownups.
The age split never made sense to me. My two sisters got to be at the adult table along with the two oldest of my cousins. In my feeble childish brain that was unfair. Why I was only a year and a half younger than Susan, and Peggy was a whole two years younger than me, so shouldn’t I be at the grownups’ table with Susan rather than the kids’ table with Peggy? Of course, in my pea brain eleven year old thinking, I was totally discounting Glenn, who was 6 months older than me, since he also sat at the kids’ table. I have to laugh when I think about all this because it is all unimportant in the big scheme of things. On the other hand, in 1959, it was pretty dang important! Today I have a great relationship with all these cousins, and we are now all the same age!
I don’t remember when I got relegated to the adult table, but it was probably in my early teens. I have to thank my Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe for having three more kids after Peggy was born to increase their children count to seven. There was a bit of an age gap between Peggy and the next three siblings. Thus, in their family Richard, Susan, Glenn, and Peggy were known the “big kids,” and Ron, Debbie, and David became the “little kids.”
About 60 years later, I got thinking about this. How funny were we when we were kids? All we wanted to be was grown up. I mean, when I was a child, my life was pretty much carefree. My parents bought my clothes, put a roof over my head, fed me everyday, and paid all those bills a kid doesn’t even know exists, like the water, gas, and electric bills. We didn’t worry about if we would be fed or clothed. I worried about when I would get promoted to the grownups’ table! Now, I’d like to be back at the kids’ table. The longer one sits at the grownup’s table, the closer one is to death!
I worked really hard not to create a “kids’ table” if possible. I tried to get enough tables for everyone to fit, and if I had several tables, I made no rules of who got to sit at what table. Sit where you would like. Usually, the kids end up sitting with each other, but it’s by their choice.
Life is short. No need to worry about the small stuff. That was a lesson that took me a few years to learn.
What’s the small stuff you worry about today? We get wrapped up in worry about unnecessary issues. I find myself doing it. I look in the mirror, and hope every hair is in place, the makeup is just right, the clothes don’t make me look too fat (Ha!), and all of this is so unimportant in the big scheme of things. Does it matter what others think about us? Does it matter if people see I finally got to the grownups’ table? Or, is it more important, in fact, most important how God see us?
God sees us as his perfect creation. Through Christ he sees us at our best. He sees our heart. Beauty and adulthood are only skin deep. Stop worrying about the small stuff. Start focusing on what is truly important in this world. I’m a child of God, therefore, I guess I am still at the kids’ table, and that’s a table where I rejoice to sit.