Monday, January 24, 2011

The Dinner Table

When I was a youngster, there were many long Summer days that were spent with a large family who owned a dairy farm.

I don't  remember now how many children there were. But I do recall how I felt there was nothing in the World better than being in the company of so many children in such a warm family.

And so, when I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up, my pat answer was to have as many children as I could. When I was asked why on Earth I would want a lot of kids, I always said I thought it would be such a lot of fun.

And it would have been. But the Universe had other plans. I was fortunate in that I had two children and yes, they were a lot of fun. I still yearned for more children, though, even when I myself couldn't have them. That's when foster children entered my life.

We did have a  huge lot of enjoyment then...sometimes there were not enough chairs around the dinner table to hold my family and the foster kids. But we managed...

And then life changed again. A marriage broke up, and I moved on with my two children, further along on the path of life. I remarried. My new husband wasn't all that fond of fostering kids...and so, I encouraged my two daughters to bring their friends home, possibly just so I could once again have a full complement of folks around the dinner table.

Again, life's path took a turn. My youngest daughter, Katrina, had a child, Brianna. It was a tumultuous time in the life of a family, even though Bree was the warmest, brightest light we had. Unmarried, Katrina found life difficult...too difficult. And even as I gained a grandchild, I lost a daughter...

Heidi and her husband took Bree and adopted her when, if memory serves, she was around five or six. My second marriage had gone the way of the first by then. And the deeply rooted thought of many children around the dinner table loosened. For a long while, it seemed Bree was the only grandchild I would have.

I met Graham, who also had two children. His son, Scott, lived with us. He was fifteen when I met him, a teenager full of  hormonal angst. Most of my foster kids were boys so I was not totally male ignorant. Coming from a family of girls, having only girls myself, it was still a revelation to me...Scott was very different from my daughters. But he bore out my notion that children brought a lot of fun. 

And then, wonder of wonders!! My daughter and her husband decided to have a baby...and Graydon entered our World. It began to appear, even if my dinner table did not hold only very young children, it was certainly always very entertaining.

Brianna is sixteen now.  Graydon will be turning four. Two children...a girl and a further graced my family tree. It was had to be, I thought. Graham and I are too old to have more children, even if I could.

But oh! Once again, the Universe thought it would shake up our now fairly complacent existence. Scott, now almost 25, and his girlfriend Kimeesha announced they were having a baby. Another child to bring fun and joy to our family dinners! How could anything be better than this?

Twins. Twins could be better.

Sometimes...sometimes our wishes and dreams and goals are derailed, along that long and winding road of Life.

All in good time, the Universe told me, all in good time. Having held the dream of being surrounded by children for so long, and for so long, having the dream denied...I had lost hope. I did not hold on to my faith which told me dreams can come true, if one holds onto them tightly enough.

Who would have thought, years ago, of the number of and on their way...who I now have to nurture and teach, to love and laugh with, to enjoy? I certainly did not. My realization, so many years ago, that my main goal was to be a mother to many children...well, it didn't happen quite the way I thought it would.

But the proverbial dinner table will soon require another leaf. And more chairs.

And in the wings, there is another leaf, another chair. Just waiting. Just in case.

Who knows how many children and adults will find their place around that table in the end?

All I know is...

It's already a lot of fun. With twin girls, the merriment will only grow.

My dream from so long ago is in the process of being filled.


  1. Dreams have a way of working out, don't they?

    My son and daughter are both animal lovers and for a long time I was resigned to having only dogs and cats as grandchildren. But eventually I got a beautiful granddaughter and grandson who are both such joys.

  2. Marion, How wonderful!!! I am so happy for you and your family. The world is a better place because you are in it. xoxo

  3. my dearest friend and weaver of magic: i can never just come here and comment. i skim, i read, i smile, i savor, and then, sometimes even several days later, i come back and leave a comment.

    i don't do this with anyone else. you are a special navigation system to me.

    so i'll be back. meanwhile: oh those snow people! clever clever ♥

  4. The web of life is strange, indeed, Marion. We start in one place and evolve into another yet somehow return to our heart's desire. You have expressed it so eloquently in this post.

  5. I am stuck on summer picnics on large table overlooking Hamlet lake in Minnesota. Fried fish (bass,sunfish, catfish, caught the week before), potato salad, slaw,pasta salad, pies for desert, and iced tea for the drinks. Corners of the tablecloth held down with rocks against the breeze. Grandma Osterman leading grace in german while we wonder just what it is she said.
    All gone now, just memory and recollection.
    The world is now for the kids to experience and recollect. Will they treasure their memories as I do?

  6. okay, i'm back now. we are so similiar. do you know that, marion?

    i have always loved room at the table. i think my daughter's friends always knew that, and we always had enough to share. my Mom was like that too. when JB and i were first together, she did not have the experience of spontaneous guests, and she had to learn :)

    twin girls. oh my how totally wonderful that will be. i know in my bones how important we are to these kids of our kids. i remember so easily friends talking about their grandmothers--how much they loved them--and i only now understand how that is so.

    i have very few regrets marion, but i kinda sorta wish i had had a few more children. thankfully you and i will have a small school of grandchildren between us :)

    with love

  7. thank you for sharing. now i understand much better. and i am so excited for you. twins! are they here yet? happy hugs to all when babies arrive.

  8. Jan,

    I have many friends who are resigned to only having dogs as grandkids...they even have them for overnights. And while that might be fun...I'm so glad I have the real thing!

    Annie Coe,

    Thank you, dear...the sentiment applies to you as well!


    Those weird lumps of Snow are my Snow Ghosts!

    aka Penelope,

    I like that..."the web of life"'s a perfect way to describe it. I love looking back on my life and seeing how things happened, just so that later on in life, another thing could occur.

  9. Goatman,

    What wonderful memories you have. It sounds idyllic. Did I know your grandmother was German? I was born in Germany, in Hamburg.

    I love how clear your memories are, right down to the stones holding the tablecloth. I believe adults have to play the game of "Do you remember the time...? with kids, in order for them to have special recollections, more than they would ordinarily have.

    I haven't been around as much as I'd have liked with my grands...but I'll bet they will remember us visiting from the Cariboo...there's great excitement then!

    Thanks for the wonderful comment, Lyle, and I hope you're ok with the last treatment. Again, you are an inspiration and I so want you to get well. xoxo


    Thanks for re-visiting!! Yes, I think those baby twins will be amazing, awesome, terrific and all that! Their birth is so close now...the doctor will induce Kimeesha by late February if they haven't entered the World before then. Two baby girls...can you even imagine? Wonder what the Universe wants to teach their dad, with two girls to bring up, heh, heh!

    kj, next time around we'll have more kids!!! xoxo


    The twins will arrive possibly on February 22. I'm sure they will take their own sweet time, since they are both girls. My experience with having baby girls is that when they are good and ready, that's when they will arrive! Heh. xoxo

  10. This is a bittersweet post for me. First, it's sweet because of what/who will be added to your life. Twins!! Oh how they'll love you!

    I miscarried three babies that I know of, possibly five. I'm awkward around too many kids at once now because I didn't have any of my own, and quite frankly I only like being around perfectly behaved children!! I'm awesome with one or two, especially if we're making art or walking in nature. But I have to say that at this point in my life I'm okay that the big plan (the Universe's plan) was for me to not have kids. But what makes me sad is what will happen to me if no one is there to care for me or about me as I age?

    I'm the favorite Aunt of all of my nieces and nephews. I think that will have to be enough for me.

    Congrats on the upcoming births! I love that it's making you so happy.

    And yes, KJ's right...those snow people! Clever and loving.♥

    Stay warm my Northern friend and fellow Canadian!


  11. Thankyou for sharing that story... Funny that last Mon (at chemo) i should have a conversation with a lady about children... She spoke about being childless due to career choices and how a child had entered her life later in life and was now like a son to her and she told the story of how she had been able to help and support him and his single mum to achieve his dream of becoming a ballet dancer... (He just got a scholarship)
    ...Those lives who need to touch us will arrive either way me~thinks X;-)
    And Thankyou Marion so much for your kind comment on my latest blog post... It made me cry to think that i can touch others lives like that (((Hugs))) xox

  12. Congratulations , twins how exciting. What a wonderful spring you will have this year and for evermore.

  13. studio lolo,

    I had many miscarriages, as well, in between Heidi and Katrina. I thought for the longest while I would only be able to have one child.Even when I did get pregnant with Katrina, I was hospitalized for most of it.So no more children, after that. Even tho I did have children, I do know how you feel, lolo.

    Being a favourite aunt must bring you lots of joy, as well. To me, it could be much the same as a grandparent's love.

    Twins are a little scary for me...I've had dreams where one is running towards one danger, while the other is running towards another danger, while I don't know how to catch them both!

    Oh, my...!


    What a wonderful story! And I believe the same...those lives who are meant to be a part of ours will arrive in some way at some point.

    Meditation can be difficult for palliative clients (stress is too high for concentration). But you do such amazing inner work and write about it so beautifully they are able to calm themselves and go on from there.

    thank YOU so much for your positive attitude, dear Nolly!


    Thank you! It won't be long now. We've watched their development through ultrasound throughout Kimeesha's pregnancy. In the last one, one twin was gently caressing the other's cute!

    It's amazing what they do with ultrasounds these days...they were even in 3D!!

  14. I thought of this Psalm as I read your post today, Marion.

    Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord." Psalm 128:3

    Your heart has born the fruit of love many times over. The love you offered extended to the many and I believe many will look back on their experience with you and have nothing but good memories. You did good and you got your wish.

    Congratulations on the upcoming twin event too.

  15. Delightful Marion and insightful also, wonderful news about the new additions. Babies should always be welcome

  16. I've just mentioned in my latest post how I love observing kids out and about with their Grandparents. There is a special mutual respect that's not always visible between a parent and child... no tantrums in public spaces too from what I've noticed. The twins will be blessed having you in their lives*!*

  17. You snow people are adorable. I never had kids. I'm pretty comfortable with that decision, especially since the men I chose were not in favour of a family. I had lots of kids as a teacher though, and got lots of pleasure of helping them in my own way. - Margy