I got a phone call from my mom the other day. She’d found an antique table and chairs at an estate sale, for a steal, that had my breakfast room written all over it.
By the end of the afternoon, it was mine. By the next day, it was in pieces in my dining room awaiting a new coat of varnish to bring it back to life.
Then came time to get my old table and chairs cleaned up and ready to give away. You know how you never really notice how grungy and worn out your old tennis shoes are until you get a shiny new pair? That’s what I thought about my old table. It’d been through a lot since we pulled it out of the JC Penny’s box almost 9 years ago. It’s nothing special.
As I started to wipe it down, I realized that it’s more than just a table.
I flashed back to a little boy, just learning to eat with utensils, pounding his fork on the table, leaving the very indentations I was scrubbing away at. I stopped to smile–if only he would use his utensils so enthusiastically these days. It’s like pulling teeth to get him to, “Use your FORK!”
The next challenge was paint. I know painting projects are messy undertakings, and with two very exuberant assistants, you can imagine the colorful splatters and flecks that decorated the table top, despite the use of drop cloths. As speckled as the table was, the painters were usually even more-so. And my little Miss-I-love-to-use-finger-paint-until-I-realize-my-hands-are-dirty will be the first to wipe those sweet digits on any surface in efforts to clean them off. As of late, I’ve gotten wiser, and have resorted to painting outside for that very reason.
Then came the chairs. They were filthy! I scoured the carved detailing until I thought I’d scrape the varnish off–then realized what I was trying to remove was probably petrified baby food. Holy cow. It’s been a couple years since a toothless, chubby-cheeked cutie had thrown apple sauce across the room, or reached out with grimy-Gerber hands to grab a chunk of banana off a plate. Ugh…mashed bananas were so sticky!
I hope the next owner will be able to overlook the imperfections in my well-loved table. We gather around it every night, abuse it every day with piles of books, bags, playdough, Hot Wheels cars, and, even hide underneath it from time to time. Yes. It’s been a great table, and the flaws just add to its’ character. ( I know, that’s something my Momma would say…)
I flashed back to Saturday as we excitedly loaded my new table and chairs into the trailer to bring home. I noticed the previous owner glancing at the big, empty space it left in the kitchen. I know now what she was probably thinking.
It’s more than just a table.