I Believe in Family Dinner

Kelsey - Tempe, Arizona
Entered on November 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

I believe in family dinner. I believe in taking time to get to know the people you live closely with. In doing this cohabitating, will become strikingly different. Relationships will flourish and these new bonds will last a lifetime, even in time spent apart. I believe that by having a family dinner each member will slowly open up to their most vulnerable form, allowing the rest of the family to get to know them in a way that no one else does.

Like it or not, family is what contributes most to any person’s persona. Personally speaking, I get my social nature from my mom, my belief system from my dad, my athletic drive from my step mom, my humor from my brother Carson, and my quirks from my brother Caleb. Being around the people who live in the same household makes a person’s being. Though this practice of family dinner has consumed my life since just around the day that I was born, the real revelation didn’t come until sixteen years later.

In the midst of my first grade year, tragedy struck my family. Mid afternoon on Saturday the 16th of November, my dad announced that my mom was leaving him. After months of law suits and court appearances my parents were granted joint custody of myself and my brothers, even against my mom’s wishes. Since that fateful November day, my dad remarried, two half-brothers were born, my older brothers went to college, and my mom began traveling for work. Amidst the chaos and ever-changing nature of my household, one thing had remained the same: every Monday, Every Tuesday, and every other Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we met at my dad’s house at six fifteen for family dinner. Whether we participated in small talk, erupted in a family argument, stimulated deep and thoughtful conversations, or even just sat in silence, it didn’t matter. The routine and the effect remained the same.

Truthfully though, it’s not about the substance of the conversation. Every dinner could end in a declaration of war and yet the effect of family dinner would still be the same. It’s the routine of it that makes it worth it. It’s knowing that no matter what happens that day I will still arrive promptly at six fifteen to wash up and set the table for dinner. Whether arguing or singing praises to each other, one will get to know his family. One will learn each other’s mannerisms, their voice, and their personality just through subtle interactions. It’s sixteen years later and I now realize the difference between my family and other families. My brother Caleb is my absolute best friend, I can tell my dad everything, I willingly hang out with my brother Carson, and my mom and I, well, at least we haven’t killed each other. My family is bonded together in a way that I rarely see other families linked. I believe in family dinner because I believe in family.