The table was kindly gifted to us by my partner's parents. We moved to Byron, pregnant and with little money, three years ago. They gifted us a bed and a couch. And after having our son, Taki, we needed a place to eat, so Nathan’s parents also gave us their dining table!
My son Taki has grown up at our table. He had his first taste of food there, and it's where we had our first family meals together.
In our previous home, the table ran parallel to the kitchen bench top. Taki would climb onto the table with his toys just so that he could be near me and watch what I was doing in the kitchen. As I was preparing meals, I would give him little bits of whatever I was chopping up. It was his little place to try new things and be involved with what I was doing. He would sit there and watch me cook, ask me questions and tell me his own stories.
Taki learned to hold a pencil, pen, crayon and paintbrush at this table. We’d draw and paint cards for our family and friends. It’s his place to make and to learn. There are pen and paint marks over the table, and I can remember what we were doing for each of them.
On the morning I went into labour with our daughter Sana, I came out to the dining room to share my last moments with my little Taki as my first born and only child. I used the table as support during my contractions, and in between them I would talk to Taki at the opposite end, telling him why I was feeling what I was feeling. I wanted to be as present as possible for him. I wanted to soak up every last second with him. I often look at the table and remember that perfect morning.
The marks on top of the table, that I once tried to clean off, are now the memory holders of our early years as a family. I never want them to disappear and I hope that there are so many more to come. I want that table to be a vessel of memories for our family and a place where we can retell its stories.