At least 3 or 4 times a week I try to have a dinner around our dining room table. These are my favorite nights of the week. If we are not eating in the dining room it is usually because we have to hurry for an evening activity.
There is something wonderful that happens at the dining room table. Our conversations are much more thoughtful and of course with 3 girls, there are a lot more giggles. We often bring up important family topics or discuss what each of us has been dealing with. Our topics range from vacations to room sharing, animals, boys and conflicts. Stephen usually gets drowned out in conversation with girl chatter but he seems to handle it well.
We started this tradition in our small dining room when the kids were little. Even as babies and toddlers we worked on making dinner time special. Though at times with highchairs and messes it was difficult to want to formalize dinner, it was a great tradition to begin and an important part of our family life. My kids learned manners and it has kept us connected Most often we light a few candles, turn on some music, the kids take turns setting the table with linens and table clothes, decorations etc while the other girls clear the table and do the dishes. Everyone lingers around the table for at least an hour depending on the food and dessert. Dinner time is more of an event rather than simply to eat. My philosophy is this: if we are too busy to sit, have dinner and be with each other a few times during a week, then we are too busy.
Maybe this tradition wasn’t even started by me. My dining table is over 100 years old and there is something very special about it. It was my great grandmother’s table handed down to my grandma, then my mother then me. All my life I have sat at this table and shared stories, laughs and sometimes tears. It isn’t the prettiest table in the world, but there is something significant about a piece of furniture that can help to carry on a tradition of bringing friends and family together over and over again.
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