In Praise of the Kids' Table

In Praise of the Kids' Table

Published Nov 19, 2021 by Rick Cundiff

Ah, Thanksgiving. The big family gathering day. Crowded flights, gridlocked roads, but oh so worth it when you walk into Grandma’s front door and smell the turkey in the oven.

Really, is there any other holiday in the world that’s so food-centric? The whole day gets planned around that big meal. Whether it’s Grandma, Grandpa, Mom, Dad, Sis or Brother doing the cooking, it’s the centerpiece of the whole shebang.

Everyone comes in from out of town, out of state, maybe even out of the country. Friends and loved one who haven’t seen each other for a year or more hug and celebrate being together again – especially after the last couple of years.

Of course, Thanksgiving’s not complete in some households without television. Whether it’s watching the big parade, the National Dog Show, your favorite football team, or all three, it’s all part of the happy bonding.

Finally, the moment comes. The side dishes take their place on the table. The napkins are laid just so. At last, the guest of hunger comes out – the bird itself.

And so everyone sits down. In most families, that means adults at one table, and youngsters at that special place, the kids’ table.

Remember the kids’ table? The fun you had with your siblings or cousins as you (mostly) patiently waited to have a plate brought to you? The laughter, of course.

Then, as you got older, the kids’ table became a little stifling. You were practically a teenager. You couldn’t wait to get to the big table, could you?

Me neither. And now that I’m an adult for longer than I was a kid, I have to say, I kinda miss the kids’ table. Bet you do too.

The adults talk about mortgages and interest rates, and cranky Uncle Frank wants to bring up politics. He usually gets shut down fast on that by Aunt Tess, but that’s another story. Then there’s unemployment, the pandemic, the environment, global warming, on and on. Serious matters. Adult stuff.

Meanwhile, the short folks at the little table are over there having a blast. They’re talking about games, TV shows, movies, who has “cooties.”

You tell me, which sounds like more fun?

Maybe just for a little while, the adults could try being more like the little ones. No heavy topics over the feast, just fun stuff. The football game. Which dog was robbed of Best in Show. How Aunt Tess’s pies compare to Mom’s (careful with that one, though.)

Why not give it a try this year? Declare both tables “kids’ tables,” just one with bigger kids. Be free to be the person you were then, if only for a little while.

You could even have caps for every one with “Kids’ Table Big Kid” embroidered on them. Just a thought from your friendly neighborhood patch provider.

Alternatively, if you want to get cranky Uncle Frank wound up, wear a cap with a custom patch declaring your political thoughts. It’s up to you.