Perspective is a kooky thing.
Even though I have six children and people told me that we looked like a preschool when all of the kids were little and we’d go anywhere – grocery store, zoo, gas station – I never thought of us as being a huge family. And then I’d see some mom in a restaurant wth a herd of children around her and I’d catch myself counting their heads and when I reached four or five or six, I’d think – man, that woman looks like she has a lot of kids. Oh wait. That’s how I look to other people too. Because it was my own life, it felt normal. Eight people never seemed like a big number. (Once I got used to it.)
Our family number was eight.
How many people need a reservation? Eight.
We need a car that seats eight.
Is there a group rate for eight tickets?
Let’s see, how many pizzas does it take to feed eight people?
We’re having sandwiches for lunch – better get two loaves of bread, there are eight of us after all.
So when two family members no longer lived at home (one through growing up and the other through, well, you know) the number we were left with felt foreign.
For a long time it just felt like our numbers were off. Like we were always counting wrong.
Table for six, please.
I think one pizza and breadsticks should be fine here.
We have room in the car for friends.
I’ve been slow to embrace the number six. (I was pretty partial to the number eight.)
In our dining room is a gigantic table. It easily seats 12 and we’ve certainly maxed it out at 16 without it being too incredibly awkward and if some of those 16 are children.
It takes up the entire dining room and if you are sitting in certain seats you pretty much need to plan to stay seated throughout the meal because it’s just too hard to get up and to get down again.
We do our school daily at this table and it’s all too easy to leave it overflowing with All The Books because you can simply shove them to one end and still comfortably eat at the other end. In fact, this is very normal daily behavior. Shove the books to one end, eat at the other end.
Today I decided to rearrange the dining room. It’s the only room I have never actually rearranged. (And I rearrange
obsessively with the frequency of a perfectly normal human.) I also did something else. I removed the two additions to the table. I made it shorter. Still sufficiently long enough at six feet long. (I measured – I took off over three feet.)
And you know what?
Our table feels tiny.
Like – miniscule. Sort of like our family. I honestly seldom think of us as a large family.
With the smaller table I could center it under the light. Ah – we’ve been missing out on quality lighting over our table for years. Years! And we can all sit down and get up from the table with ease, not disturbing anyone else.
London said, “Mom, I love this table’s size. It’s so pretty that it makes me want to set the table in a nicer way.”
When we ate dinner there last night we could hold hands easily for prayer. We weren’t scattered around it and we could all reach the food to pass it around.
The table fit us better.
The six of us. Our family.