Growing up, my family ate dinner together every night, with the exception of Sunday, when we would, instead, eat lunch together after church. To me, this was a normal thing. All of my friends ate dinner with their families. I was completely oblivious to any other way, I thought this is what every family did. It was not until I was older that I realized my family was unique in many ways. I am so thankful for this. Family dinners have helped make me the person I am today.
My mom prepared a meal for us every night. My dad would come home from work around seven, kiss my mom, and ask how everybody’s day went. My sister and I would set the table, and we would all sit down and eat together. That was our one-hour routine every night. That one hour was part of why my family is so close to this day.
At the table, we would talk about our day: what went on at school, how our grades were, what was going on in the world, what we wanted to do with our lives, and so on. We would laugh, and sometimes we would argue. The point is, we were together.
Through the dinners, I was taught what a family was, and I was taught by example. A family is not just a mom, a dad, and some kids. A family molds you into whom you will become as an adult, they teach you morals and values, they support one and other, and they love unconditionally. I said earlier, that my family was close. Partly, because we were able to spend times, like dinner, together. This built a sense of trust from my parents to myself and my sister. They were able to trust us because they knew what we were up to, they knew what was going on in our lives from our conversations at dinner. We did not have to hide things from our parents, because we knew them to be understanding. We also had the morals and values they had taught us, and we live by them.
I realize how lucky I am to have grown up with times like these. It is comforting to know that I will always have the love and support of my parents and sister. My relationship with my family assures this. Family dinners bring families closer together. They allow the parents to see into the lives of their children. For the children, it sets an example of what it mean to be a family. Hopefully, they can repeat the process with a family of their own someday. Growing up, I never realized how great these times were. I am glad to be able to appreciate them now.
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