One of my most favorite memories of my children’s teen-age years came from one of the thousands of dinners at our table.
No matter what was going on in our lives I insisted on dinner at the table. Every single night. Some nights were full blown cooked from scratch dinners. Some nights were pizza or chicken I picked up on the way home from work. Some nights were macaroni and cheese from a box and hamburgers I fried up, with green beans I heated up. When martial arts, sports and horse back riding entered our lives there was a stretch where dad did the cooking but all he could cook was hamburgers or spaghetti. I don’t ever remember being tired of either.
No matter what we were eating, we sat, at a round table, and ate together.
We prayed before every meal. We must have gotten too comfortable with our prayers because there were times my oldest daughter would say “slow down!” in the middle of our thanks.
Some dinners were hurried, but there was always talking. Most always there was laughing, though not always from everyone at the same time or on the same day, teenage years will do that to a dinner table.
We all knew what each other was doing. We all had opinions and we told each other what we thought of those opinions. I think these are some of my favorite memories.
One night, as we sat around the table eating and talking my daughter said randomly “no one else I know does this”. I asked her what she was talking about. She said “sit down every single day for dinner”. I wasn’t sure if she was complaining or pleased. She looked at us all and said “I like this”. I know where each of was sitting, I can see the curtains behind one daughter, the wall behind the other, and I can even see the table. What I remember heartfully is the four of us, all of us, agreeing with her.
And I remember feeling gratitude that my children knew the importance of that time together.