A Weekend of Family Dinners

on 24 October 2011

I grew up in a family that had family dinner basically every night.  Almost always the same time, so we always knew as kids when we needed to be home.  My Dad would be home from work and Mom would have made something--animal, vegetable, grain--for us all to eat. 

And so I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that we're not actually very good about having family dinners in our household.  Don't get me wrong, we WANT to have family dinners, they just don't always pan out.  Chris works 5 evenings a week, so most nights it's just me and the Boy.  And to be honest, the Boy has become a dawdling eater, and in my pregnant state of high irritability, it's hard for me to sit with him every night while he eats dinner.  It's easier (and a lot less shrewish) for me to work in the kitchen (cleaning up), or to work on the computer while he eats in peace.

So imagine my surprise when we came to the end of this past weekend and had had, not 1 but TWO proper family dinners!  One of them by candlelight, per the Boy's request. What can I say, at 3 he's very romantic.

Saturday night, Chris cooked what can only be described as Midwestern home cookin' (hamburger steaks, onion gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans), the Boy ate green beans BY CHOICE for the first time EVER.  And Sunday night, I cooked, herb roasted chicken, stove top and green beans with brownies for dessert.

We'll just leave you all to wonder at how many Tums I had to eat to balance out the heartburn.  The heartburn that has been RELENTLESS for the past SEVEN months.

The point of this post (aside from a little boasting on my part, TWO family dinners is nothing to sneeze at in these parts), is this...I could actually tell the difference it made for the Boy.  He ate better, by which I mean, GREEN BEANS!  An actual BALANCED meal!  It was shocking...usually his dinner is composed of the Carbohydrate of the Moment and milk.  And he didn't dawdle like he does when it's just him and I.  He chewed with his mouth closed and made intelligible conversation with us.   He was enchanted by the candles and pleased with both his parents at the same time. 

Which leads me to the conclusion that, maybe there's some kind of magic to be found in family dinners.  I'm actually looking forward to the day when Chris can move back to day shift and we can have them more frequently than just the weekends.