In 2019, my coffee table will go back to being just that, a table.
I’m not sure how I started doing my homework in the living room. We have a beautiful front office with billowy white curtains and desk made from heavy wood and metal. It’s quiet and the chair is blue, which I love. There’s ample space and I love the french doors that open into the foyer, which I sometimes close when I’m forced to go in there to watch crazy educational videos from the seventies.
Yet, every night, I find myself sitting in the center of the couch with books laid out to the left of me and a staggering amount of notebooks and loose sheets of paper sprawled out behind my laptop. There are no less than four pens and two mechanical pencils around me.
Doing work like this kills my back and my feet, as I tend to sit criss cross applesauce. Maybe it’s because I like the way the sunlight moves throughout the living room. Without looking at a clock, I can tell that it’s midday or four p.m. It’s probably the view of all my plants and succulents that calms me. Often during the week, Miles will lay on the floor on the other side of the coffee table with his laptop open and all his chemistry homework surrounding him. Bill will be on the chaise going through work emails. Sometimes we listen to records. Sometimes we put Family Guy on repeat because we’ve seen them all and it’s just simple background noise.
We pause to get up and eat supper together.
We all drink coffee well into the evening.
Perhaps the only reason why I torture the coffee table with my constant frustrations, is quite simply that I do not want to be separate from my family. The three of us do everything together- weekend trips, gym workouts, concerts, and now, homework. It’s comforting and it’s homey.
I know that in 2019, just a short year from now, my son will be getting ready to graduate and head off to college. Maybe I’ll gift him the coffee table so that he can say he also earned his degree on its wobbly legs and weird faux tile/wood top.
Or maybe I’ll keep it and work on a few other degrees.