The very first piece of furniture my husband and I bought together was a very stylish brass and glass coffee table. (Hey, that was way back in the last century…it was stylish then!) That coffee table was a pain in the neck to take care of, but I was so proud of it. Every day I would carefully polish it to wipe away cat footprints that magically appeared overnight and straighten out my artful display of trendy magazines.
When our first baby was born, she used that table to pull herself up and become mobile. When she really started to move around, we worried that an active toddler would run into one of the sharp edges of the glass and get hurt. (Or damage our beautiful coffee table.) It seemed we had no choice but to carefully put our coffee table away in storage until it was safe to use again.
After nearly 20 years and several moves, I have no idea what became of my prized coffee table. Interestingly enough, I’ve never felt the urge to replace it either. Instead, in our living room we have the standard couch, easy chair, end tables and, well, that’s pretty much it. We have an empty space where most people would place a coffee table.
Oftentimes people new to our home think all that empty space in the middle of the room seems strange. After all, it’s not exactly…normal. What the casual acquaintance doesn’t realize is that our empty room is rarely empty.
This empty space, banked by the finest seating available (and by that I mean well broken in and loved furniture) is the perfect spot for a budding young actress or singer to put on a “show”. I can still hear my husband bellow out the words announcing our nightly entertainment: “Ladies and gentlemen…boys and girls of all ages…presenting The Fabulous KT and Mimi Show!” This was quickly followed by two giggling little girls popping into the living room ready to perform for us.
I remember all the Girl Scout meetings we held, sitting cross-legged on the floor in the middle of that room. Our snug little circle created an intimacy between those girls in a way that wouldn’t have happened if we were just a bit more formal.
My mind fondly wanders off to the times when we would move all of the dining room chairs and nearly every blanket in the house into that empty room and build the most magnificent forts. We would sometimes leave them up for days just because our daughters loved them so much.
I think of our girls and their friends just sprawled in the middle of the floor. When they were little the floor would be littered with baby dolls, tea sets or Barbies. I think of the frolicking from numerous birthday parties and the sleeping bag covered floor of countless sleepovers.
Lately the empty space has been the playground of our new puppy. We love to sit on the couches and laugh as we watch him joyfully race around, playing with his toys (and some unguarded shoes) and our older dog. It’s fun to drop to the ground and just play with him. (And his sharp little teeth!)
It won’t be very much longer until our girls are ready to fly the nest. When it is once again only my husband and I, we may consider investing in a new coffee table to fill up that empty room.
Then again, I have to wonder if that room isn’t already too full of wonderful memories to make space for a mere coffee table.
“Our Coffee miss u” jRa7 @ flickr. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.