The Kid’s Table

I was talking with my friend Mike the other day and he brought up this analogy when referring to how it seems many of his friends have a kid’s table mentality in life. I have to say, I hadn’t thought about it before in exactly those terms, but I think the shoe fits well. Thanks Mike.

Most everyone in life starts out at the kid’s table. The kid’s table is that place where you are old enough to be left alone but still not quite ready to join the elite adult crowd. Sure you get your own butter dish, but you have to wait for the rolls to make their way around the grown up table before they cross the great divide that is “table hierarchy.” By that point, the best you can hope for is a lukewarm wheat roll, for uncle harry deemed it quite acceptable to take 3 piping-hot white rolls on the first pass…
Along with the endless years at the kid’s table comes a celebratory moment that even the most stoic of persons can rejoice in – that fateful day when we could not find our name placard at the kid’s table, for our place was no longer among mere children. We belonged with the big boys. We exchanged our talks of TV shows and school subjects for politics and the family health update. Sure the conversation may not have been as interesting to us, but we gladly accept it in order to be rid of the card table, for this was our destiny.
This dose of nostalgia has got me thinking about where I am at in my own life. I sit here today, 28 years old. I have been married 7 years as of two weeks ago, and I have 3 amazing children. At the risk of sounding hokey, I love my life. I think the struggle is when I approach this idea of being a “grown up.” What is expected of me? What should I desire? When I see those around me that are my age or younger that appear more “successful” or “professional,” what is that awful feeling deep in my gut? That urge to accept that I am less of a person or at least less of an adult. The pull to become something I am not to find the affirmation I crave. The conclusion that I am just not the kind of person that gets to leave the kid’s table.
Now please, I do not say all this to evoke pity or elicit affirmation. More, I speak honestly about something I don’t think we speak enough about. Younger people than I have changed the world (for better or for worse) without thinking twice about their age. Yet I catch myself staring at the adult table, waiting for a seat to open up – hoping for that celebratory moment when I can no longer find my name placard among children.

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2 thoughts on “The Kid’s Table

  1. Sometimes I think if a seat doesn’t open up at the adult table, maybe I should start my own adult table. Did the adults I see at the table inherit their respective seat or did they knock together some wood and nails and make their own table? Maybe waiting for a seat is what keeps us there to begin with. Maybe looking at an empty room where a new table could be is just too scary and unknown. Screw the table! I’m going outside to play football! 🙂

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