Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A family that eats together

#1 “A tree without roots will fall over” -unknown
#2 "How will our children know who they are if they do not know where they came from." unknown
#3 "Heirlooms we don’t have in our family. But stories we’ve got."   -Rose Cherin

When was the last time that you sat down with your extended family for a dinner and it wasn't a holiday? After a WONDERFUL easter dinner this year, several of us thought that it would be a good idea to make more time for one another with a monthly dinner. Each dinner has a theme, everyone brings a dish and a different person hosts each time. A couple weeks ago was our most recent dinner and it was great. Our theme was "comfort food."

Family get togethers such as ours don't have to be large elaborate events where people spend hours in the kitchen preparing a 4 course meal. Last time I checked, my life and family was not living in a Norman Rockwell painting and it is not worth the stress to try because it's not the point. This time should be used to focus on positives. We don’t use mealtimes and family dinners as a time to criticize, complain, or argue (okay, maybe we do a little, but not to the point where it ruins the time together). We treat each other with respect and affection and let the little things ride. We share stories, books, play games, and sit around and "shoot the breeze."

I enjoy our family dinners so much because it gives me a chance to talk with my aunts, cousins, and family friends. When we are not around one another most of our "keeping in touch" takes place over Facebook, emails and texts. And don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't quite hold a flame to real hug and kiss. Another personal benefit for me is that my daughter, who is the family baby, gets a chance to be loved on and played with by someone other than me. Some of my fondest memories of growing up are the ones I spent with my cousins and aunts doing sleepovers, going shopping or to the movies. I want that for Avery because the bonds/relationships that that time built has been a lifelong connection and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I leave you with this thought, "In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit." (MARGE KENNEDY)

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