A Weekly Tradition for Life

Bria - Pearl River, New York
Entered on June 12, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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Unlike the subjects of many of the other stories written for the This I Believe essay , I’ve had little to no struggle throughout my life, growing up with luxuries I know other kids would die for. However, one thing I can say I am truly blessed with is a gift that cannot be bought, returned or even earned. This gift is Sunday dinner.

Since as far back as I remember, my mother and father worked tediously in the kitchen every Sunday morning, slaving over food and making sure the house was spotless for company that would usually arrive around 2 o’clock. The dining room filled with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends. I looked forward to the conversation at Sunday dinner, the laughter that filled the house every week without fail, and most of all, I looked forward to feeling of being content with people who I know love me. Those that aren’t lucky enough to experience this tradition will probably not understand why I consider it an essential part of my life.

I first realized the importance of Sunday dinner when I was about 12 years old. As my house was under renovation, my mom, dad, brother and I moved into the apartment in my basement for a few months. The kitchen and dinning room in the apartment was distinctly smaller than the rooms we had upstairs. For this reason, our Sunday tradition was put on hold. One day I asked my mom, “How long is it until we can have Sunday dinner again?” I will never forget my fathers smile and hers at that moment. I know it meant a lot to them because years later they still talk about my infamous question .The first Sunday after we moved back upstairs, the family piled into our newly furnished house. Those familiar feelings of happiness and content rushed back to means if nothing changed. It was then that my parents, and even I really understood how much I valued these dinners.

Growing up, Sunday was always known as “Family Day,” and to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’ve always been glad to have this a part of my life because I truly believe that it has made me the person I am today. It has taught me maturity, morals, and, ultimately, the value of family. To say that my family is perfect would be far from true, but I do believe that we keep up a tradition that not a lot of families do. When it comes time to raise a family of my own, I hope to give my children this gift that has been given to me. I’ve learned that your family isn’t supposed to give you anything less than unconditional love, and Sunday dinners have given me the chance to see how many people truly care about me. I would trade my family and our traditions for anything in the world.