This I believe…
I believe in family dinnertime around the table. My children like and our family takes pleasure in this time.
When I was a young girl, my mother made nice meals. Although they were nice, my family was scattered about watching television or sitting at the table but we did not sit together as a family. I thought it would have been enjoyable to sit together and I believed that when I had a family, I would make our dinnertime an important time for our family to connect.
In the morning, I get the kids off to school and then run the seemingly dozen errands I have, post office, bank, grocery store, warehouse club, and drugstore. Only to return and jet in the office, respond to several e-mails and then it is returning phone calls and making another endless list of things that will need to get done for tomorrow. I tidy up the office a bit before I change gears and head in the kitchen to determine “What is for dinner?”
My husband and I work out of our home and although this can seem very hectic at times, when we sit down for dinner, I know this is a good thing. My three children (ages 5-12) Joseph, Justine and Samantha, come barreling through the door from a long school day filled with reading, writing and arithmetic, their most important question of the day is, “Mom, what is for dinner, I am starving?” Luckily, by the time they ask me this question, I am well into preparing and prepping our meal.
Whether it is a home prepared, a Stouffer’s lasagna or Jimmy John’s subs, it is routine in our home that everyone partakes in the “getting ready for dinner.” Samantha usually makes the salad or cuts vegetables; Justine sets the table and pours the milks and Joseph folds napkins, gets the ice for the milk and makes sure everything is straight. My husband Joe does the grilling. While, I am in charge of the final touches before we sit down at the dinner table. It is a whole lot of fun for all of us to be included.
In our family, we make dinnertime a priority. It is a time that we listen, learn, problem solve, share feelings and just connect with each other. We go around the table from youngest to oldest and everyone gets a chance to talk about their day. Whether it is funny, sad, or something educational, it is worthy. My husband usually has something historic or political to say. Sometimes conversations can be quite lively, other times maybe not a lot will be said, but each person knows that we will all listen. As our children become older, my husband and I look forward to the new perspectives and ideas that they will bring to the table.
Dinnertime is not always ideal; we have our share of spilled milk, too many people talking at once, or overcooked pasta. My husband and I realize we are not “perfect parents,” by any means. We know we have and will make mistakes along our journey of parenting. In the large spectrum and with life being so fast-paced, never seeming to slow down to let you catch your breath, it is reassuring to know we have this most important time together to help guide, keep us grounded and connected…this I believe.
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