Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dinner Time, My Favorite Time!

How can a Mom NOT love dinner time?

After rushing around ALL DAY LONG, getting children here and there, doing the laundry, fixing meals, cleaning up, washing, drying, scheduling, shopping, educating, entertaining, encouraging, on and on...fill in the blanks, we can sit down, take a breath and enjoy a meal with the people we love.
I have to say that I LOVE dinner time!

It is the ONE meal that I actually sit with my family and eat WITH them.
I arrive home from the gym after they've eaten breakfast with my husband.
The children have lunch at school but now that it is summer, I have found myself eating something small after I've fed them.
But I RARELY miss dinner.

I loved dinner time as a child, too.
It was the ONE time that we all sat together and my mother was insistent on waiting for my Father to sit down before we all dug into our food.
It was a sign of respect which I think is lacking in our generation of children.

It was where we learned our manners
(ie: no elbows on the table, how to cut with a knife and fork, how to eat spaghetti,
where to put the napkin, and also,
no bodily noises from the mouth or bottom while seated at the dinner table).

It was also where we would learn about each other's day.
Where it wasn't just about me, but about my sister, brother, mom AND dad.
We learned how to listen and how to be a part of a conversation.
NO computers, games or toys at the dinner table.
We also had a lot of laughs!

It was where the one time each day, we were ALL on the SAME page. The one time each day that we were all doing the same thing at the same time.
In a family of 5, (and 3 teenagers)I know this was rare!
It was quality time that was well protected by my mom.

I'm making an effort to do the same thing.
Research has shown that children who dine with their family grow up healthier and happier.
It also provides for emotional and relational needs.
I want dinner time to be special, really special, family time.
How do I do this?
How can you do this?

YOU have the power to make it special.
Create an atmosphere that is light.
I have our children each help set the table.
One might get the plates, another the forks, another the cups and drinks.
Everyone is involved.
We all wait until Dad sits before we start eating.
We say a prayer of thanksgiving before we start eating.
I love listening to my children share about their day or whatever comes to mind.

Tonight, I was inspired to write because I was looking at my children and feeling so grateful for each one of them and what each one of them brings to our family, as well as what each one of them is contributing and will contribute to this world.

I made Tortilla Soup and Logan said, "I love this soup! But I remember when I didn't like it".

Luke said, "I don't like tomatoes, except in this soup". Then he asked me if I remembered how I tricked him into trying some tomatoes by telling him it was watermelon when he was little.
I didn't remember this story, but apparently, he did. He mentioned that while eating this tomato he was wondering where the black seeds were! Ha Ha!
It would be just like me to do something like that!

Kiana also commented how she does not eat tomatoes except in this soup and
Marguerita Pizza.

Make dinner time a special time.
YOU have the opportunity to create an environment that fosters
conversation and comfort,
closeness and community,
love & laughter.

It's never too late!

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