Bonding at Family Dinners

Katelyn - Cameron Park, California
Entered on April 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, place

I believe in the importance of having close relationships with family members. As the oldest of six children I was continually surrounded by younger siblings and the craziness that came along with them. It wasn’t unusual for me to wake up to someone jumping on my bed and shrieking that it was time to wake up. Even though things were often wild at home while I was growing up my parents greatly emphasized the importance of taking time to sit down and have family dinners together. Each night my family and I would sit down together at our large dining room table and have a meal such as my mom’s famous lasagna with steaming garlic bread. It was a time for us to tell one another about our day such as who we talked to at school or what we did at basketball practice, and to just touch base with each other.

As the years went by and as my family grew older our schedules differed and became more complicated. Even when my brother had volleyball tryouts and I had to rush off to swim practice, my parents made a point of gathering everyone together for some sort of meal. Over the years I grew to greatly love this tradition, and each night I looked forward to being able to sit at the table and tell my family about my day. I came to discover that by sitting together with my family each night I was developing relationships with each member of my family.

The time soon came time for me to leave the comforts of home and set off on my own. As I left for college I knew that one thing I would miss the most was the time I spent with my family. They had become my closest friends, and they were people I could turn to when I needed help or advice. While I was up at college I met many people and each of them came from a different family background. I noticed how even though each person had a family of some sort the closeness of their relationships differed greatly. I observed that the relationships that people have with their families affect who those people become and how they view certain aspects of their lives. A person’s outlook on life and how they view themselves can be significantly altered by the kinds of relationships that they have with their families.

It greatly saddens me when there are those that do not appreciate their families. Families can be a person’s greatest friends. Over the years I came to realize that the relationships that people build with their family members has a tremendous impact on how people develop over time. I recognize how truly appreciative I am for my parents and the time they spent in maintaining our family dinners. These meals together with my family produced bonds of friendship that will last throughout my life.