Jane decided that she wanted to join The Turquoise Table movement because she loved the idea of offering an approachable meeting place for neighbors to come and introduce themselves. She was also inspired at the prospect of providing a no-fuss, informal place to host friends for casual conversation. Since putting her table out front in April, it has been definitely been fulfilling these purposes. But it’s also become something more…something more personal.
Like so many of us, Jane is a busy working mother with a full plate of professional and family commitments. So when she gave herself a deadline of having the table ready in time for her street’s annual crawfish boil, Jane enlisted the help of her family to get the job done. Her husband and teenage son sanded the table, and, along with her teenage daughter, they all pitched in on the painting. Since bringing the table to life together, it has become an unexpected focal point for the family.
Parents of teenagers often struggle to find time and ways to connect with their kids. Homework, extracurricular activities, and spending time with friends often trumps hanging out with mom and dad. Jane realized the potential to use her table as a family retreat of sorts – away from the inside distractions of phones, computers, household chores, homework, etc. – where she isn’t competing for the kids’ attention.
“As much as it is for my neighborhood, this table has become a place for my family and I really love that,” says Jane. “Life keeps us all running in 1,000 directions. I want my kids to know how to stop, connect and have a real conversation with me. And through our Turquoise Table, my family is able to gather and really unplug.”
Jane and her daughter will often take tea outside to the table during homework breaks. She and her husband will sit at it to enjoy an evening beverage and unwind. Jane’s son and his buddies hang out there. And both kids witness neighbors and friends joining their parents for a cup of coffee or spontaneous conversation.
“I’m happy to show my kids that building community can be as simple as sitting at a table,” Jane says. “Enabling them with the desire to reach out to others around them, that’s my biggest goal.”
Next up, Jane and her kids plan to drop off hand-written notes at nearby houses inviting the neighbors to use the table anytime, whether her family is out there or not. Jane is leading the charge building the next generation of front yard people!