Sigh. It’s been a go-go-go kind of year and I’m so tired. But something magical happened this week! Soccer season came to an end and marching band rehearsals are almost over, which means we have one weekday night we’re all home as a family. What does that mean? Dun dun duuuuummmmmmmm…….
Yes, we actually sat around the table together for a meal Tuesday night and we’re going to try to do that until the end of the school year. NO WAY. Buy a lottery ticket, Tuesday’s my lucky day!
This is our routine: hold hands, kinda sorta doing the wave with our arms while we recite the “God is good” prayer, then dig in. One of the kids sticks their arm out and another “spins” it until it lands on someone (of their choice) who then gets to answer the questions:
- How was your day?
- What did you do?
There is so much magic in those two little questions. Everybody gets a chance to answer and you can’t cut them off when they speak, except we do try to encourage the wee ones to move along since they REALLY want to give you the minute-by-minute, excrutiating detail playback.
Seriously, our kids were so stinking CUTE reciting how their day played out from the moment they woke up, what they ate, who they got to interact with at school or extracurricular activities, what their take was on the substitute teacher and his nickname… They were all wide-eyed, happy, animated, and forthcoming with the details of their day. And then they asked questions of us to understand better what we shared.
Parents, sibs: we should want to connect with each other like this routinely. This is healthy relationship stuff.
What happens during this time? We parents are teaching our kids to be good listeners and conversationalists. We’re teaching them to look people in the eye when they speak, and to sit still during dinner. We’re teaching them that everyone should participate in the conversation, and it’s good to ask follow-up questions. We’re showing them to start the meal with priorities straight and gratitude for what we have. And we end the meal together. Laughter is good. Sharing is good. Nourishment for the body, brain, and soul is good. Eating and talking and relaxing with no real timeline or agenda is good. Our kitchen table and the souls that sit in those chairs are sacred. Eating meals together is special. This is communion.
We all need more of this.