Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Table

I work with a lovely lady who has four children as well, except her kids are grown and navigating their lives as young adults.  Married, engaged, working...it's enlightening to see how my future may look when my kids leave the nest and start lives of their own.

I may need medication, but it's enlightening all the same.

A few days ago, this friend at work gave me and another co-worker some words of wisdom.  

"Never stop the family dinner.  Never.  Keep them around that table. Yes there are nights you are on the run, maybe more than you are home.  But every chance you have you set and eat around the table."

It made me think.  I used to make a family dinner every night.  When my kids were little, and we weren't running all over every weeknight with activities, we were around that table.  I taught my kids about napkins on laps, how to cut their own food and to ask permission to be excused. It was important to me they learned etiquette, and to this day they are pleasant dinner companions. 

Trouble is, today those dinners are fewer and farther between.  We are just about as busy as I can handle some days.  We have two or three practices to work around every night.  And games.  

That's before we even figure out homework and dinner and chores. 

We eat in the kitchen, we eat "together."  But there is something about that table.  I admit I was getting lax about it, there were nights we all were home and I let it slide.  Eating in the same room was enough.  

Not anymore.  

This week, the only night we were all home, we set the table.  I made a feast and we gathered around that table. We said our prayer, and we did our classic "high and low."  We go around the circle and everyone shares their high for the day and their low.  You could do a high for the week, or a high for the year.  

What's important is that we all answer the same question, and it gives us insight into everyone's lives.  We know what makes someone's day, what they value and what they dread.

It's wonderful.  And I feel like when we're around that table - with NO phones and no distractions - like time pauses.  Just for a bit, but it does. 

It's magic.  

Don't let that time together go, cherish the moments you can set aside to connect with your kids.  It makes a difference for them and for you.  There is nothing kids want more than your time. Those traditions give them something to look forward to after a long day, and something to come home for when they fly the nest.

Happy Tuesday...make it special. 

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