Never underestimate the power of a family dinner. My husband and I have always been adamant about this one. We may not have the ability to have dinner around the table together every night of the week, but it’s definitely a priority in our house.
We bought a new round table for our breakfast room about 5 years ago. The set only came with four chairs, so I proceeded to tell the salesman that we would need an extra chair. My husband looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Why do we need five chairs around that table?”
“Well,” I said, “we have five people in our family.”
“Oh, c’mon, how often do you think we will all sit at that table at the same time? Even if we want to, we have the dining room table that fits us all just fine.”
My husband and I have been married long enough to know each other pretty well. I looked at him, smiled as if to say, “Thank you so much for your input, honey,” and then turned to the salesman and said, “Go ahead and order one more chair, please.”
I know you’re thinking, ‘Wow, that was rude! What an attitude! That was pretty bold!’ Let me clarify…before we began shopping, my husband told me that it was my deal to pick out the furniture. He said to get what I wanted; he just didn’t want any floral patterns, and no pink. (SO not a problem for me!) I wasn’t being disrespectful, I was just doing my job. After putting the order in for the extra chair, my husband just shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Whatever…you know better than I do with this stuff.” What a guy!
It turned out that he was right. Well, the part about me knowing better…love when that happens! We sit around that table, all five of us, almost every day together. It’s where the magic happens! I love our round table because it makes it so personal… so perfectly sociable. We laugh, throw broccoli, high five, dance and sing our way to the most fabulous dinners ever. When my husband is really in rare form, asking him to pass the butter may mean you get it spread on your arm, or asking for a biscuit may require a catcher’s glove. These things may be looked at as poor table manners, and they would be, if we were in a restaurant or at someone’s house for dinner, but when we’re at home, sometimes it’s just fun to pretend you’re at camp and not worry so much about it. Yes, my girls have excellent table manners, and they know how to act appropriately at the dinner table, but every once in a while…you know! Everything in moderation, I say! I think there should always be much laughter, and times of just pure, unadulterated fun at home. I love that side of my husband. I love that he loves to laugh, and I love how he jokes around with our girls.
Life will never be perfect. Tough days are a given, but when you ‘gather ’round’, have crazy night dinners, fun fondue dessert nights, or even big Saturday morning breakfast as a family, you won’t ever regret it. My 12-year-old daughter was reading over my shoulder earlier and said, “This is an awesome blog, Mom…you’re awesome, too!” She then reminded me about the butter on the arm, and the biscuit tossing. It was just confirmation to me that those silly mealtimes really do leave an impression. Be a little crazy sometimes. Don’t be afraid to open a forum for laughter around the table. It may turn out to be the best family tradition yet!