If someone peeked into your window at mealtime what would they see? Would your table be empty…or perhaps full of paperwork, or an ongoing project? Hopefully, it would have a family gathered around sharing a meal together.
I jealously guard my favorite time of the day, our family dinner hour. We try not to schedule any lessons or activities in the evenings, but have made this time a priority in our day.
It is always worth the effort to make something nourishing and delicious for my family to enjoy, and is almost always a happy time for us. It seems that this preparation time of cooking, setting the table, lighting a candle and whatever else is the most “authentic” thing we do all day. I mean its so dependable, it’s calming, its “down-to-earth.”
Sometimes my boys will help me cook, and we often add music to the mix and even end up dancing in the kitchen a bit. We call Dad to ask what his E.T.A.(estimated time of arrival) is so we can plan accordingly. Our home begins to take on the aroma of garlic or onion, and with the music playing in the background, our spirits begin to pick up a bit.
My children are excited about what’s cooking, and really happy that Dad’s on his way home. All this preparation is never a waste of time but a delightful routine we’ve established. Our food is rarely gourmet and usually just very simple fare like Mom used to make. It’s very typical American fare; a starch, a protein and a vegetable with bread on the side, but when we sit down, hold hands to pray, and talk about the day, it seems as though we are nourishing our souls as well as our bodies.
When we take this time out of each day it slows us down and connects us. I feel like we are doing so much more than satisfying our hunger. We are in a sense establishing a lifestyle that hopefully will be passed on to our grandchildren and great grandchildren.
I have a jar filled with slips of paper with questions on them. I thought we could use these questions at dinner time to spark conversations and extend the dinner hour to make it even more meaningful. I’ve only used it a few times though because we already have so much to say. My children are so anxious to talk to Daddy after not seeing him all day, and I am happy to just listen and watch them eat and laugh and talk. I am so thankful for this time and wouldn’t trade it for anything. So we don’t play soccer or have lessons in the evenings as to not interrupt this time. It is jealously guarded and if we were to give it up, I’m not sure we would even feel as “human” as we do now. I don’t think we would be as close or as nourished physically or spiritually. Blessings to you all……enjoy your dinner hour…..enjoy your family. ~Anne