By today's standards the family I grew up with is large. Back in the day it was just an average size family. I am the youngest of six children. My parents had a tradition of family dinners for holidays and special occasions. As our family grew with grandchildren the family table got a little crowded. So being the youngest child and only eight years older than my oldest nephew I along with my sister just older than me were relegated to the kids table. I always felt like I was missing out on something really cool. The big kids table got all the action. They got the food when it was hot, they got all the condiments first. They got to be in on all the gossip. While we, on the little kids table got to babysit. As soon as the grandchildren were old enough to feed themselves (getting a spoon somewhere in the vicinity of their mouths.) They joined our table.
Unfortunately for me as the number of grandchildren grew there was less room at the little kids table for my older sister. So she got bumped up to the big kids table and I was still sitting at the little kids table well into my teenage years.
After growing up this way, my experience at the holiday dinner table started to spill into my everyday life. I always felt I was never good enough. I was never included with the "cool kids" at school, I never got picked first for anything we did on the playground or on the sports field. I was never great friends with the really popular kids in high school. It felt like I was sitting at the little kids table my whole life. Man I hated the way that felt.
When I was in my mid twenties, I was more confident, I liked myself more, I went out of my way to be kind to others. I finally started to figure things out. At least I think I did. It was then I realized the big kids table wasn't all that great. I liked being able to be myself and not try to impress anyone. Now looking back at my family's holiday dining experience I realize I kind of liked being at the little kids table even when I was in my late teen and early twenties, I actually preferred sitting there. It was much more fun, the people I was sitting with liked me for who I was. I have great nieces and nephews, they are some of my best friends. I have discovered being cool is as much a state of mind as anything else.
Being myself and enjoying the company of those around me is what it's all about. If people who feel they are better than me or above me, or have no use for me don't like me, I'm am totally okay with that. Who wants to be with snobby people anyway. Life's much more fun when you like who you really are.
Until next week.