We got a good deal for our table from a guy right down the street. He even delivered it for us. It's solid and if you bang your knee against the inside frame just under the table top you'll swear you hate the thing. The top needs refinishing, but kids, so we'll leave it. And we have left it that way, scratched and stained, losing a little color each day. They protest when we discuss a new finish I protest at the work it will take only to have it scuffed and smeared with, life. I fuss at everyone who doesn't use a coaster, but why bother? The kids say it adds character. And it does. There's space for 6 or 8 or 12 or more, we've stopped counting. We manage to squeeze ourselves in when friends and family visit. Taking turns sitting at the table, much like we did at Nana's. It's held up well. Sophia's first birthday, the first big event It's hosted countless others Visits from Mom and Dad along with Dad's pile of newspapers, notes, pens, reading glasses, mugs of his piping hot coffee and a small mountain of Mom's tamales. Halloween parties Tortilla making lessons A birthday candle lined with Tacky Glue, sprinkled with gold glitter and sequins. My best friend's graduation party. Homemade pizzas-- so many homemade pizzas. Writing sticks of all shapes and colors Spilled bowls of Cheerios 5 layer Play-Doh cakes Mixology experiments: Mexican martinis, wine-usually red, blackberry margaritas, strawberry mojitos, and the good anniversary crystal bubbling with cheap champagne. An almost empty wine glass, a red ornament, and a red pear gnawed with a little kid’s bite protesting “Mommy I didn’t like it!” adorns the end of a "fancy" Christmas dinner. That night we used a tablecloth. Snow days with pancake breakfasts. Piles of papers that needed grading. Homework-- the kids' and mine. Hours of graduate school assignments Science fair and craft projects LEGO builds and chatter Family game nights A thick smear of blue paint from a Halloween costume making session and nail polish drips I couldn't remove. Gingerbread house building parties that stopped because we outgrew the table and got so darned busy taking kids to holiday related school activities. GNO get togethers where we all sit around and color, jars of colored pencils, pens, and markers snaking down the center of the table. Pandemic teaching Online Sunday night meetings with family across the miles. Writing every morning, at least three pages, with a coffee mug by my side. Asking for and giving grace. They say home is where the heart is. Ours gather around this table where we live and breathe, hope and dream. And sometimes, we eat here, too.