An Evening Ritual

Gabriel - Carrollton, Texas
Entered on May 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family

I believe in family dinners. In a world where each house has two cars and there are three television sets scattered throughout the house, this nation celebrates family gatherings less and emphasizes an individuals own agenda. The obstacle hindering the gatherings around the dinner table is due to parents getting home late from work and the kids having to be taken to the soccer game or music lessons.

As a kid growing up, my dad came home around 7 o’ clock, but my mom would always tell my siblings and I to, “Go outside and play until your father gets home from work.” Finally, my dad would pull up in his rusty red truck and we would put down the baseball, and sprint towards our bricked house on the corner. Now, all six of us would take our unspoken designated seats, say grace, and then the stories of how our days went came flowing out. I learned from my brothers over dinner that writing seven page papers the night before made them sluggish at track practice that day. From my dad, he announced over dinner once saying, “The family is going to move, but I guarantee this will be your best summer yet, going places most of your friends have never been to.” Special things can occur over dinner or just ordinary banter that I found to hold dear to. Life’s lessons can be passed down with ease over eating meatloaf and mashed potatoes with the family, and I grew to appreciate this idea every year we continued this tradition, you could call it. Most of society doesn’t get to experience this hidden warmth, but for the few that do either know or will know the significance of it later on in life. For me, I figured this out after my older brothers left for college. Once they were gone the house was much quieter, the bathrooms cleaner, and the kitchen still stocked with food. This saddened me for awhile, until I was in bed one night and recalled all of the talks and the memories I have made around that mahogany colored, wooden piece of furniture in the kitchen.

At a very young age my mom and dad began this tradition of family dinners with me and little did I know that’s where I would recall my warm memories. Through these gatherings I always felt like I was loved and I belonged somewhere in this chaotic world. To this day, it’s only me and my parents left at home, but you can still find us creating memories everyday at seven o’clock around that mahogany colored, wooden table.