I love Thanksgiving. The truth is, I just plain love holidays. My life is full of special memories and some of those memories are from when I was a little girl, about age 8.
My parents and I often visited my oldest sister and her husband and their boys. They lived about 2 hours away from us and visiting them was always fun. My tom boy ways could really be expressed while playing with those nephews of mine. Actually, the boys were more like brothers, since we were close in age. The word “nephew” was never thought about until we were older in age.
My sister would prepare a meal of delicious, mouth watering food each Thanksgiving. Some of the most memorable meals included corn pudding, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes and the tastiest turkey and of course, there was always dessert. The table was so full, that there was hardly room for silverware and napkins.
The food was placed on the big table, where all the adults ate the meal. Then, there was the little table, where all of the children sat to eat the meal. My nephews and I sat at that table and enjoyed our own world. We could giggle and have the best conversations.
Sometimes, the adults would “fix” a plate of food for us and bring the plate to our table. Other times, we were allowed to hold our plate and walk around the table while making our choices. Someone would ask us which item we wanted and then, they would spoon a helping of that food on to our plate. Carrying our own plate didn’t always work out, as we tended to lean our plate to one side while gazing at the food and then, spill the food on the floor. Truly, the plates felt very big to us.
Our table enjoyed the most fun. The occasional green pea or spoon of mashed potatoes may have been seen flying through the air, in an attempt to make each other giggle. Also, burps and other body sounds were alive and well at our little table.
Hardly ever were we caught misbehaving, because the adults were having their own conversations. Maybe they knew what was happening at the little table and didn’t want to draw attention to our shenanigans.
After we finished eating the delicious meal, we could go back outside to run and play and be full of joy and laughter.
As I grew a little older, maybe 9 or 10 years old, I wanted to sit at the “adult” table. I felt that I was too grown up to continue dining with the little kids. So, that special Thanksgiving day arrived, and I was given the news that I could sit with the grownups. The excitement was overwhelming. Now, I truly was a grownup and didn’t have to sit with those little boys anymore.
My seat at the table allowed me to view the bowls of food up close and personal. Yummy to the tummy was my motto.
This was going to be great.
Strange thing, once I was allowed to sit at the grown up table, all I could do was look over at the little table and feel lonely. All of the adults were having their own conversations. Yes, they enjoyed laughter, too, but, I didn’t understand what they were talking about.
I was shocked to realize that I missed the little table and all the fun there.
My parents looked at me with the “I knew you would feel this way” look when I asked to go back to the other table. They knew I missed the fun at the other table.
My nephews welcomed me back to the table as if I had never left. Back to pea throwing, mashed potato launching, armpit sounds, burps and most of all, a table full of laughter and love. Yes, this is where I belonged, at the “little table”.
As I matured in age and mind, my spot at the adult table was ready and waiting for me. As the nephews matured and grew older, the little table and it’s four little chairs were put away and room was found for all of us, around the big table.
These memories remind me that God has a place for all of us, young and old, at His table. You are welcome just as you are. Come, come, just as you are. He is waiting to welcome you. His arms are open wide.
I am thankful for all the blessings from God. Blessings that include memories of sitting at the “little table” and sharing love and laughter with family and friends.
Melissa Henderson lives in Mechanicsville, VA. She was born in Hampton and has lived in various cities in VA. She and her husband, Alan, have been married for over 37 years and have one son(Mike) who is married to daughter-in-love(Christine). Melissa was taught the love of reading and writing at an early age, from her parents. She is now working on her first inspirational fiction novel. Her passions are volunteering, Bible Studies and reading and writing. You can find her online at MelissaGHenderson.com