We don’t get to choose our family like we choose our friends. So we love them anyway.
Through the years, friends may come and go, but family is always there for us. Like a wedding vow, in sickness or in health, for better or for worse, through thick and thin, we can count on family. Every day and every night. And every morning. Very early in the morning.
From birthdays to holidays and vacations, even movie night, our families are there to celebrate with us and enjoy the very meaning of life: To love.
Unfortunately, it can’t always be sunshine and puppies. With a variety of personalities comes differences and arguments. Rudeness, anger and apathy rise up, sometimes when you least expect it.
Trying times and disagreements can lead to silence just to avoid the confrontations.
Maybe it is just the busy schedules of work and school that get in the way of regular routines and we stop participating in each other’s lives. Then we realize nobody is talking to each other anymore and communication is lost.
At My House
One such busy day when I was working late, I decided to pick up dinner for all of us on the way home. First, I picked up my young son from daycare. Then I picked up my daughters from their friends’ house where they were waiting for me from their after school activities.
We drove up to the drive through of our favorite chicken place. Everyone seemed happy enough to tell me what they wanted to eat. We got our bags of food and continued on the road to home. The kids all wanted to start grabbing their food and eat now. After all, we’re hungry!
“No,” I told them. “We’re going to wait until we get home.”
You can probably imagine the typical response was to argue and plead with me to give in, like kids will do. But I held my ground and told them they could wait. My main reason was to avoid the mess of children eating in the car, but I managed to convince them that we can all sit down together at the table.
It only took ten minutes to get home, them groaning and complaining most of the way. I barely pulled up in the drive way, when they all barreled out of the car with their backpacks and bags of food, so they were waiting for me to hurry up and unlock the door.
I pulled out some plates and silverware while my girls got the food out of the bags. They sat down at the table and passed around food while I helped my little boy up in his high chair and over to the table (he was probably around three years old and talking well, but still too short to sit at the table like his sisters).
Finally, everyone was at the table and enjoying their food. The sounds now were good sounds and humming sounds and then my girls started telling each other about their day at school.
They talked about friends they liked and goofy kids that messed up, they talked about the games they played on the playground and how fast they can run and how well they can shoot hoops.
They shared events from their classrooms and talked about favorite subjects. They reminisced about teachers they knew and how one of them called their sister by the wrong name… only a year apart, they did look a little similar! Especially their eyes & noses!
Even my little boy was talking and making his sisters laugh. They are all so close and love him beyond measure.
It was the best time I had all day. Watching and listening. The communication, the laughter, it was all soooo good. I learned so much more about their day than I ever would have if I had asked them.
As they finished up their dinner, I started retrieving the plates and cleaning up. Then I sat back down. They were still sharing stories. An hour passed after we had finished eating, and no one even noticed that I barely said a word. And they were all still sitting at the table.
“See,” I said, “this is why we sit down at the table and eat dinner together.”
“How else would I know what all of you are up to?!”
Oh, you should have seen their faces! They were so busy communicating and connecting, they didn’t even realize they had finished eating and were still sitting there at the table.
They even agreed how much fun they were having.
“Okay, Mother, maybe sitting at the dinner table together wasn’t such a bad idea,” my oldest admitted.
Bottom Line: Communication
So whether it is the whole family or just two of you, the best way to keep the family bonds close is by breaking bread together. That is how to avoid trouble and family issues… communicate. Or even just to sort out conflicts and keep communication flowing, sit down together and eat a meal. It can’t hurt!
Food is love. I mean, family is love. To be a family together, is to eat together. It’s all relative.
Smile! You got this!
P.S. When is your next family reunion? And what food are you planning?
I welcome your comments, please post below.
P.P.S. Generate some extra cash for those family extras… Start your own online business… here’s how!