Updated: Sep 7, 2021
Lessons from the kids table at the Holidays. Grief, joy, and memories.
For as long as I remember my number one goal at family gatherings was to no longer be young enough to sit at the kids table. I was always an old soul, too mature for my age, blah blah blah. With this comes great responsibility but it also comes with a constant sense of rushing to grow up. I don’t believe in regrets, but there is a small part of me that regrets that now.
Part of what came with sitting at the kids table was dish duty. Those of us too old to run off and play but still not quite old enough to sit at the adults table, got stuck with clean up duty. The horrors, the unjust unfairness of it all. I certainly didn’t want to admit that Id rather be in the kids room playing, cause gosh darn it I wanted to be seen as old enough to be at the adult table, but man did doing dishes with my cousins suck. I thought.
Until it didn’t suck anymore, until Thanksgiving year at 34 years old, when you realize those memories are some of the best you have. When you’d give anything to have your cousin back at your side with you and his sisters cleaning up the mess after our parents cooked dinner for days. Washing dishes next to my two cousins and sister last night, I caught myself, REALLY and truly feeling grateful to have to be doing that with them. The banter, the pride we took it getting it done quickly, the way everyone just jumped up and jumped in to help. I wish I could have gone back and told that to 9 or 10 year old Cait. Cherish the moments Cait. You never ever know when you will be looking back wishing you were at that point in your life again. Wishing you had everyone around you again, united against what turned out to be the not so horrible task of washing the dishes after a family gathering.