Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Family Dinner

One of my many childhood memories that I've made a conscious effort in my own family to continue was our family dinner.  I don't remember ever not having a dinner together as family.  It was a way to stay connected with each other and to just be with each other in body, if not in spirit. 

My family dinners these days are almost always just my kids and me.  Those dinners run the gamut from quiet, sulky affairs to tawdry, raucous feasts.  Our dinner conversations many times would make most cultured people blush.  But not us.  We talk about everything that is on our minds.  Things that happened with the kids at school including not only the fact that Haley has a part in this years musical but who has earned the lead in the past and how old they were when they were cast as the lead and all sorts of other stuff.  We talk about upcoming happenings at schools, when soccer and 4-H start, when rehearsals are being held, all of these things.  I also share things about my work day and many times, the negative effects of a cruddy day at work are quickly wiped away by our family dinner.   We offer each other our opinions (often unwanted) and we offer each other support. 

But most of all, we laugh.  We do a lot of reminiscing and some of our stories we've retold a hundred times!  Things that at the time would not have been considered worth remembering but now that they are in our past, we love to remember - things like how the sliding board at the Centre Hall daycare smelled like pee, how Ikey used to call Jordan 'guy', how during an exceptionally wild game of Cranium, I was required to twirl like a ballerina - at the beach - at sunset.  And I know we've all heard about a thousand times how Ikey dropped his phone in a puddle of mud at Grange Fair.  We remember all sorts of things.  We do a lot of dreaming during dinner too.  The latest dream is of having a real farm with a real barn and some flat land to actually ride horses without worrying about falling down the hill into the creek.  We discuss the pros and cons of getting goats again and how to best make, and is it really possible to have, a goat-proof fence. 

And I like this.  I think the kids do too.  We sit together, fix our plates together, thank God for our meal together, and then eat together.  Years and years ago, my mom made a real effort to have the family eat together and I loved it so much that I've done the same thing.  I highly suspect that my kids will carry on the tradition.  It is so much cheaper than therapy.

A torrid love affair

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