Okay everyone, time for dinner! Now picture this – everyone comes running for the table, and sits down to have a great meal and a lively conversation about how their day went. They spend the time discussing, sharing, supporting, and laughing. When dinner is over, everyone helps to clear the table, load the dishwasher, wipe down the table and counters and do any other pots and pans up. Oh, I wish!!!
Here is more likely how the meal goes. Dinner is ready! One or two straggle in. Stomp on the floor to alert the kids downstairs that the second call has been issued. “K, just a minute, I just have to get to a save point!” “I just have to finish this thing I am working on, on my computer!” “Can you guys please put the phones away for just a few minutes so we can give thanks for the food?” Or, any other number of excuses or technical devices arise. Some fill up their plates and head to the couch to finish watching the television show that is on, some eat at the table and then quickly leave without clearing their own dishes, some head to their rooms with their plates, and some just say they are not hungry so they don’t participate at all. What is your dinner table like? Somewhere in between?
Somewhere between these two extremes is the reality in each of our homes. What should the dinner table really be like? I like this quote: The dinner table is a safe place. It should be a place where everyone loves to come and be a part of the family. It doesn’t really matter what size your family is. A family is a family.
I must admit that we don’t eat dinner at the table every night. We definitely fit somewhere in between the two extremes, and I can see the strain that it creates on our family. I gotta tell you honestly though, sometimes as a mom, I just don’t feel like I want to do it all, all the time. There are days when I wish someone else would take the initiative, take charge and make it like it is supposed to be. And I guess in the perfect world that might happen, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and we don’t have perfect families. So how do we make this happen? I would love to hear your thoughts!
How can we as mom’s or dad’s be this great change in our homes, families, and the world? How can we create this safe place in our homes that everyone will feel like they can gather around and share their feelings, share what is in their hearts? I guess we just keep trying, day after day, and don’t quit. Oh how I feel that there are many days when I just want to quit! It would be just so much easier to opt out, and I guess that is why so many families are falling apart in the world, because they opt out, they quit. I know the feeling, but what gives us the right to quit on what we have created? I don’t know the answers, except that if we keep trying, keep having those dinner times, those safe times when we can open up to each other and share and laugh and cry together, we at least have a hope of a future together. If we give up, we don’t even have that.
So I will keep trying, even though many days I don’t want to, and I will encourage you to keep trying too. That is what life is all about. Keep on keepin’ on, right?