ABOUT A TABLECLOTH

I bought a tablecloth for Thanksgiving last week. It's the first tablecloth that I have ever owned in the entire nine years that I've been married. (Anniversary and Thanksgiving in the same week. We know how to celebrate.)

I don't know; I almost feel like I've had to have been violating some married Mormon woman code there. You guys, I've taught church lessons without a tablecloth. (And lived to tell the tale, mind you. It can be done!)

I'm starting to forget where I was going with this.

I bought the tablecloth at Target. It's not fancy. It's white with a simple, white embroidered pattern. It barely fits my table because I clearly lack the experience of measuring for such things.

I bought it because my oldest loves to set the table. And also? Details are her thing, even moreso lately, if possible. She came home from her preschool Thanksgiving feast and told me all about the tablescape her teacher set up, right down to the pattern on her paper plate.

So I bought a tablecloth, thinking she might like it. And because I might just try my hand at adulthood. Maybe.

When I asked her to help me spread it out, she came rushing, wide-eyed and grinning, asking if guests were coming over. No guests, just the five of us, which made it seem even more special to her.

After I washed it and pulled it from the dryer, noticing the stains it had already accumulated (and set in. I have awesome laundry skills), I thought about that tablecloth some more.

It's not likely to be one that will get passed down. I don't think any of my kids will spread it on their own table and think about all the years they spent eating off it.

But I will.

I folded it, thinking of all the tea parties and family dinners and impromptu fancy lunches that I know are coming that it will be spread out for. I don't doubt that it will be the backdrop for many a peanut butter and honey lunch, eaten off a cake plate. Our Sunday pizza night will probably lend a fair share of sauce stains. And if you only knew the amount of melted chocolate from warm cookies just out of the oven that I will be scrubbing out.

I know, I know. I wax nostalgic over the silliest of things. Don't get me started on packing up too small baby clothes.

It's just that, I know their childhood isn't going to last forever. I don't want to keep them little forever, by any means; I love watching them grow.

Sometimes, though, I wish it took a little longer. And sometimes, I have a stained, impulse buy of a tablecloth to remind me that there are so many simple memories to look forward to making.

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