Three years ago, Joel made me a new kitchen table, from start to finish, in just one day. It wasn’t really a planned project. On that particular morning, Joel looked at me and said, “I’m going to build you a new kitchen table.” I said, “Huh. O.K.”, and that was it. He went to the store, purchased the lumber, and several hours later… Boom! Mama’s got herself a table that the entire family can actually fit around! Having a husband who is handy, that likes to build stuff is hot. But, I digress.
While the table making day wasn’t planned, I feel the need to give you a little background on my kitchen situation, and why a table was needed. Flashback to Christmas Vacation three years ago. We refer to this time as The Beyer Christmas Plague of 2012. Most of you probably remember the Barforama scene from Stand By Me. It was similar to that, except there wasn’t just a lot of barfing. There was, what my friend Katie calls, vooping. Vomiting & Pooping = Vooping. Every person in our family was projectile vooping. So.Much.Fun.
I clearly recall Joel lying on the couch, sick as a dog, at the peak of The Plague. I was in the kitchen, slowing starting to come back to life, and trying to dig out of the three days of mess that had accumulated since The Plague hit. Suddenly, Joel got up from the couch and staggered to the garage. I remember thinking, “Okaaay, I have no idea what he’s doing, but those crazy, sick, blood-shot eyes are freaking the heck out of me, so I’m going to just stand back and watch.” Joel comes back into the house with some kind of an electric saw. Here’s the thing: our kitchen had an odd shaped breakfast bar that jutted out into a little circle that a couple chairs could fit around. It would probably be great if you had, like, two kids. However, that two-kid-ship had sailed a long time ago in our house, and we always talked about getting rid of “the circle part”. Plus, with that circle taking up unnecessary room, we would never be able to fit my dream of a large table in the kitchen. Apparently, Joel decided that day was the day to change that. He plugged in his saw, and proceeded to cut the breakfast bar straight across to get rid of the circle part. He, than, dragged the circle out to the garage, came back inside, and went back to sleep on the couch. I don’t think he even said one word the entire time that was all happening. The flu will make people do some crazy crap (in more ways than one, in this case). Anyway, I sorta shrugged, swept up the dust, and thought to myself, “Yessss… we can FINALLY fit a decent table in the kitchen now. I love him, even if he’s psychopath when he’s sick.”
I have to admit, things don’t really stay nice around here for very long. We are missing half of our cabinet door knobs. Plates and glasses get dropped and shatter all the time. The kid’s bedrooms are far from Pottery Barn perfect. We don’t have special towels that match in the bathrooms. What we DO have is a lot of kids. With a lot of kids, comes a bunch of friends, and it’s important to me that they all feel comfortable and want to be here. We let our kids dribble basketballs in the house. Sometimes I let them ride their scooters around the kitchen. They are allowed and encouraged to write with markers on the old windows we hung in the front hall. I guess, what I’m saying is, a perfect looking house isn’t at the top of my priority list. Don’t get my wrong, I still have many moments a day when I lose it over a pile of shoes by the door, or the fact that the noise level is always at FULL BLAST. However, I’m working on picking my battles because I can’t always be yelling, “I am going to go insane if you don’t stop doing that!” I am certain the silence will be deafening someday, so I’m trying to embrace the constant activity that is the soundtrack of our home, and just let them be kids.
Recently, I was sitting at the table, and I realized how banged up it already is. All of the little bumps and gouges don’t bother me, in fact, I like them! It makes my table more rustic and loved. That’s when the idea hit me: how cool would it be to have a table that would remind us of every friend who came into our home! Each person who sat at our table could etch their name and, perhaps, a favorite phrase onto our table. My vision is that every “free” area of table top would would consumed by friends’ names. I understood this project would take some time, but the memories created would be priceless. I just had to do it.
I thought for a while on how I would propose this idea to Joel. 90% of the time he will agree to my crazy ideas. As for the 10% that didn’t initially pass the “Joel test”, I would say I still had a 50% chance of changing his mind. Okay, enough math. My head hurts. What I’m saying is, I felt the odds were ever in my favor with my Table Of Friends idea. The good news is, after I told him about it, he agreed without hesitation! Score.
This past weekend, like most weekends, we had extra kids sleeping over. There was a revolving door of friends the past couple days, which I absolutely love. I made pancakes in the morning (the only thing I’m actually somewhat average/o.k. at making). While they were eating, I brought out some tools and told them to go ahead and carve their names. They were hesitant, at first. “Has Mrs. Beyer lost her mind?” (Sorry, kids, that happened a loooong time ago.) After briefly looking at me with blank stares, It only took one kid to say, “All right. I’ll do it,” and they all grabbed a tool and started etching.
Joel and I also had a little fun with this. We sent texts to our friends of their kid’s name in our table, with a comment like, “Well, I guess we’ll always know he was at our kitchen table.” Too much evil fun! We would let them panic for a couple minutes, and then I would actually start to freak and beg Joel to tell them the truth. “Just kidding! Kaia has this table project thing she’s working on, we told him it was o.k.” The best, however, was one friend who decided she would take the joke a step further with her own husband. Here is their text exchange:
It’s actually surprising we are still around because we almost.died.laughing over these shenanigans.
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” -E.E. Cummings
So here we are at the end of a very fun weekend, with many new names added to the table. I am in love. It’s all turning out exactly as I planned, and I am so excited to see how this develops over time. It may take a year or more to finish this. However, when all the blank spaces are eventually filled with names, we will stain and seal it, and forever be reminded of all of the friends that make up our lives. I am sure I will give an update to show you the finished project, whenever that may be. In the meantime, friends, will you please sign our table?