Post by Kristin Jarvis Adams | November 23, 2018
My family’s Thanksgiving feast changes each year as different faces grace the table. People move away, pass away, get married, and age, and squirrelly children become vibrant young adults. For as long as I can remember, my parents have welcomed and embraced anyone who walked through their front door. And each Thanksgiving I learn something new from the conversations that ping-pong across their carefully decorated table as we all search for common ground.
In my family, children have always been relegated to a Kids’ Table. When my sister and I were young, although it was a relief to be separated from the drudgery of adult conversation, we felt a little displaced. Yet when we graduated to the dining room, we quickly realized that we missed the hilarious and spirited conversation between our cousins and friends.
This year our grown kids and twentysomethings opted for the Kids’ Table—a table minus the wedding china, flickering candles, and decorations carefully placed along the backbone of a grand dining table. Throughout our Thanksgiving meal, I was drawn to their raucous laughter and loud voices as it filled my parents’ kitchen and spilled into the dining room. While we were reminiscing in nostalgia, our kids were full of joy and unbridled anticipation. Twin cousins talked of college—one dreaming of becoming an actor and one who will go to nursing school in the fall. My daughter talked of finishing college next year and her desire to work as a medical technician. My son, the chef, demonstrated his mad cooking skills by loading the others’ plates with the desserts he had made.
Later that night, when our bellies were full and the volume sedate, my mother asked me what I was thankful for.
“The Kids’ Table,” I said.
I showed her the picture I had taken with my phone. It was a photo of our grown children who were friends, sisters, brothers, and cousins, all crammed elbow to knee around a breakfast table. There was the brother who laughingly guzzled a bottle of sparkling cider on a dare and promptly threw up his turkey dinner. There was my daughter who fed our dog table scraps and my son who made himself a cheeseburger because he dislikes turkey. It was the secrets hinted at between the children and the daring conversation between lifelong friends. It was the sacredness of their common ground.
At the end of the night, my mom reminded us all to think each day about the things we are thankful for. So tonight, as I pulled the leftovers from the fridge, my heart was smiling at the memory of the Kids’ Table.
My heart is full,
Kristin Jarvis Adams' story of Andrew and Frightful is a beautiful and remarkable journey through medical mysteries, a reliance on a superhero chicken, and ultimately, a transcendent faith that ushers in hope when all else seems lost.
Wonderful memories, Kristin! Indeed, our home was filled with friends, family and more food than any of us could eat. We were so grateful to everyone for bringing this joy-filled event in to our home.
So grateful for lifelong friends that are family. To have a third generation connecting and being silly together, well, it just doesn’t get any better. Love you!
I love getting letters from the coop! Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanks Kristin for so perfectly describing our Thanksgiving, and so beautifully putting into words the meaningful events in our lives!❤️
Love you! Carol
This post evokes so many good memories from Thanksgivings long ago when our kids and their buddies sat at “the kids table” in our house in Texas…and later in Washington. It’s a treasured time – and I’m so happy that you are still reaping the rewards of having a “kids table” for those special celebrations.
Oh, yes! The “kids table!” It’s sort of a metaphor for life…you work so hard to “grow up” and then realize how good it was when you could be carefree at the “kids table!” So much to be thankful for this year in your family and ours. Happy Thanksgiving, Adams Family!
I have often told my grandchildren about “The Kids Table” from my youth. Both my brother and I were disappointed to go to the adult table and voted ourselves back to that “Kids Table” in the kitchen. Now, I watch my grandchildren make a “Kids Table” at holiday gatherings and it brings back warm memories of laughter, fun and family. Thanks for sharing Kristin.
Fantastic memories of years gone by that will stay with us forever.
Maybe we should all sit at the “Kids Table” next year?