Table for Four, Please



I’m still sleeping but I know it’s morning. It’s Saturday and I know my family has no place to be, there’s no schedule to keep and, best of all, my mom is making breakfast.

She gets up before everyone and I can smell she’s making Maui Grown coffee. She is trying to be quiet but I can hear the pan for the bacon softly bump against the waffle maker. I know she’s making banana chocolate chip waffles, my favorite. I can hear our dog, CC, too. Her dog tags clap against her collar as she makes her way out the front door, following my mom to get the newspaper and pick a papaya from our tree on the side of our house. When I wake up I will set the table. But there’s is no way I’m doing the dishes!

Eating a meal around the table with my family is something I appreciate.

My mom tries to do everything just right. She hates to get up in the middle of a meal to grab a serving spoon. She enjoys cooking and feeding the family and I like it too.We even bring CC’s food and water bowl inside—I love to hear the noise when she drinks her water. I think I’m lucky to have my family around the table, eating good food. I wonder how many kids are eating cold cereal alone in front of the TV right now.

It’s really cool when we have friends over for dinner or, better yet, when family comes to visit during the holidays. It’s a commitment to come to Maui, so we start planning way in advance. My mom and I start getting cookbooks out and scouring for old favorite recipes; my dad helps, too. We think about what’s fresh in the garden or may be inspired by something else. My brother and I try and help as much as we can. The rule is whoever sets the table doesn’t need to do the dishes.

The holidays are coming soon. The air outside will be a little cooler and I know we will all be together. Our entire house is built around the kitchen and dining room. All I can say is that sitting around the dinner table, with food I like and the family I love, is a really good feeling, I can’t really explain it more than that. So this morning the table is set for four, just me, my older brother Noah and my mom and dad. Don’t forget our little dog CC too.

Lily Katz is 10 years old and lives in Maui.