I believe in the power of dinner with friends and family. If you aren’t related by blood, you will have become related by giblet gravy once dinner is done.
I believe in the public service announcement that claims, “Families who eat together thrive together.” The food isn’t really the catalyst, of course, but the daily hour or so of conversation has an amazing ability to bring people closer and to turn bad moods into good ones.
I believe the dinners I have shared with parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends have greatly influenced the person I am today. The chicken bundles my Mom serves whenever I visit, the chicken-n-dumplin’s my Nana swears are horrible despite their sudden disappearance from over-loaded plates, and the Mexican dip my friend Andrea is known for continue to bolster my faith in humanity.
I believe in the kids’ table. As a preteen, my primary goal in life was to move to the grown up table at holiday gatherings. Then I got to the grown up table. I now believe one should be careful what she wishes for.
I believe in the birthday dinner. Nothing says “I love you, and I’m glad you were born” quite like taking someone to his or her favorite restaurant or cooking his or her favorite meal. I believe in the emotional powers of birthday cake, which inspires birthday wishes. I believe in the red plate with white letters that read “You are special today.”
I believe the students I teach are greatly influenced by the meals they share. When students are happy, diligent and respectful, I assume they sat down to dinner with family the night before. When students are unhappy, sluggish, and disrespectful, I assume they did not sit down to dinner with family the night before. Though I believe in and regularly spout the negative consequences of assuming, I also believe this assumption regarding dinner is quite close to the truth. I believe the red plate with the white letters that read “You are special today” should make more appearances.