It was never a nice table. But it was all we could afford, and it was what we wanted. So for a few years it was our nice table. And that was good. Then the ball of energy that has occupied my 6 year old wondered what the texture would be like if she took a ball peen hammer to it’s surface. I don’t know where she got the ball peen hammer, I mean does anyone really have a ball peen hammer just lying around? I don’t, but somehow, Ball of Energy found one. And despite my initial anger, the texture was pretty cool.
And it all went downhill from there.
My wife, Jessi, is an artist. And god bless her, she’s imparted that love for things that are beautiful, and dark, and entirely unable to be adequately described by my finite vocabulary, to our children. So projects that were initially performed on the sterile surface of butcher paper and a layer of newspaper that was too good for recycling, began to creep out onto the raw and fragile table. And as the EnergyBall got more and more passionate, and the AngerBall got more and more frustrated with the flaws in her art, the table took more and more of a whipping boy role, and finally, the role of the ultimate canvas.
Now our table proudly wears these scars. I imagine it sitting around with other tables, quietly listening to their tales of butter knifes gone awry, and spilled glasses of wine, and then my table pulling up it’s table cloth, a la Quint, the old codger from Jaws.
Our table wears the paint like a biker wears his tattoos. They define who it is, where it’s been, and dammit it aint putting up with any of you grey poupon, freixenet cordon negro, cloth napkin bull larkey (sorry AngerBall and EnergyBall may read this so I’m keeping it PG-13). And that is a reflection of our family. And a reflection of where I am right now.
A lot of what I’m doing is new to me. The road I’m going down is not clear to me. I’m a new person with a blank canvas, but because of where I’ve been, what I’ve seen, and the lack of cloth napkins, there’s a little wear on me. I can’t be fresh and open minded, or even a little innocent. And like our table, that’s OK. I’m going to wear those scars, and not be afraid. If I say something that’s self serving, maybe there’s a reason for it. And if I do something rude or completely stupid, it could just be because of the ball peen dents on the back of my head. And if you’re lucky enough to be invited to our house for dinner, don’t look at our table and judge. There’s a lot of love and brilliance that has been created there.
We have dreams of getting a new dining room table, to go with the cloth napkins that we got for our wedding. And though it’s not in the budget now, we’ve agreed that when a new table joins the fray, we’re keeping this table. Not only for a place to do art (and protect the new table from EnergyBall – She’ll still have to eat dinner at the art table) but also as an homage to the passion, creativity, compassion, and love that our family has.
d. 2. oban