One supper at a time, I’m combating today’s drive-thru rush! rush! rush! culture in my own little family.
Growing up, we ate supper around the kitchen table nearly every night of the week. We were frequently rushing out to baseball practice or piano lessons or church activities, so even if it was just a sandwich, we stopped and had dinner together. When I left for college, I realized how much I missed that, and my newfound dorm friends and I had a standing date each night to go down to the cafeteria together for dinner. They became my best friends and the ones I lived with my entire four years at A&M. My family away from home. I am convinced that tight bonds are formed over food!
My husband and I made it a habit early on in our marriage to sit down each night at our new kitchen table, mostly because I was so excited to cook for him in our new pots and pans and eat from our new dinnerware. As a bachelor, he was used to eating in his recliner (which, sadly, did not make the cut to our newly combined household) in front of the TV. Enter the eager new wife, excited to hear about his day, cook things other than Totino’s party pizzas, and sit at the table. We didn’t know at the time that we were creating daily routines that would continue even now as we’ve expanded our family.
Even as tiny babies, we propped our kids up in the bouncy seat at the table while we ate. Eventually, they each joined us in the Bumbo, then the high chair, and now our son is in a booster. Our daughter will make the leap from high chair to booster faster than I really want to think of right now. She’s already learning socialization through our dinnertime conversations and eating habits. It’s incredible to watch!
I try to cook most nights, and did so even when I was a working mom. I had to do major planning to accomplish that in the short time I had after work. Now I have a little more flexibility with my time to try new recipes on the fam. The one exception is on special pizza nights. Pizza is just meant to be eaten in front of the TV–that’s a tradition from our pre-kid days.
Once we’re gathered around the table, we thank God for our food. We tell Daddy about our day, and he tells us about his. We try new things (on a good day, at least!), and we talk manners. I treasure our time around the supper table each night and hope that I can protect it as long as possible, even when our kids’ evening extra-curriculars begin to sneak in!
So be honest, how often does your family slow down and share dinner together at the table?