I’m currently ripping my not-inconsequential collection of CD’s onto my mac in preparation for moving across the sea and only being able to bring 2 suitcases and 2 carry-ons. There is a oldies music channel playing, as Dad is alternating between re-organizing the pantry and grinding coffee (frankly, I’m just surprised he hasn’t started playing any Taylor Swift yet…his latest favourite artist with some solid bass). I’m sitting at the kitchen table, surrounded by stacks of CD’s, some random paperwork, a popcorn bag from the theatre last night, along with a couple spools of Valentine’s Day ribbon (I’m guessing Mom has a craft brewing somewhere…or something anyways).
Our kitchen table has always been a multi-purpose area, serving as the dinner table, the table upon which I’ve spent many an hour writing essays while in university (which I no longer am, thank goodness), where Dad will have a mammoth paperwork session, where Mom will have a mammoth crafting session, and where my brother Brodie will have a mammoth desktop-building session, complete with compressed air, screwdrivers of all sizes, and who knows what else. Oh, and where MANY a games night have taken place, where I’ve had so many conversations that have lasted further than anyone expected, where important family sit-downs have happened, and I can’t recall what else.
Point is, it’s a place where things have happened. A lot of things. Both awesome and not so awesome. But mostly awesome. Like all-night board-game sessions and laughing so hard at something stupid that I’m crying. That last one seems hereditary.
Anyhow, it’s not a place that is always tidy and clean and plastic-covered, because that’s just not my family…Pbbbt! It’s really not! Sorry Mom – I’m talking about how not-tidy our house is.
The way I see it, if it was clear and clean all the time, that would mean that nothing was happening. And there are most definitely things happening here! There are endless conversations and love and stretching times and fuzzy times and times when I want to bury my face in a pillow and other times when I will actually, voluntarily, move myself a little if a song like, say, “Shake it Off,” is on.
I think we’re doing things at the kitchen table so much because we enjoy being around each other – usually (you know how it is). It’s like our table is secretly a magnet. And lot’s of other times we’re doing our own separate things, in different rooms and different places – because there’s no way that Mom will ever join my brother and I in a Halo session, though a game of Killer of Bunnies is another thing entirely – but lot’s of other times we’re within talking distance, whether all of us want to be or not. It’s become a frequent ambient music in our household because we’ve always had conversations – whether menial or miles-deep.
Growing up, there would be plenty of times when I would get into an argument with my brother, or a disagreement with my parents and things would get a little heated. As much as I didn’t enjoy it at the time, my parents never let us go to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26). We would talk it out, hashing it out until we could better understand one another’s feelings. Sometimes, that took quite a while but it was always worth it for us.
It was worth not going to bed, muttering angrily to myself, and letting feelings of bitterness and resentment slowly build up within me, slowly corroding away at my inner self. It was worth getting up the next morning, sometimes still practicing biting my tongue, or not even having to because we had already spilled our guts so extensively that we either had a mutual appreciation for where the other was coming from, or my parents had spoken enough Christ-like wisdom to the situation so that I could, at least, try to understand what I didn’t yet comprehend.
Those conversations and exchanges weren’t perfect or smoothly gem-like, but they were ongoing and that’s what was…necessary. The longer they tumble along, the more the rough edges disappear. Y’know, like rocks. But better!
Aaaand, the music playing in the background is no longer in the background now that Dad’s adjusted the volume. And it’s been changed to TSwift. Knew it.
Some things never change. *Sigh* (the good, satisfied kind).
Addendum: It has been brought to my attention that my Dad does listen to much more than Taylor Swift. During these previously recorded moments, others artists with awesome beats, like Casting Crowns and MercyMe, just weren’t present. Though, at the writing of this addendum, Needtobreathe is currently pumping out some good rhythms.