Father-in-law left a few minutes ago. This is the first time in 5 weeks that I sat down at the computer without an audience. The house is quiet. Ahhhhhh. It’s only going to take me a little while to start worrying about him. Will he find his gate? Will he make his connection? Will he then find his luggage? We convinced him to get a carry on so he wouldn’t have to wait for luggage when he has a connection but. . . he still checks it. When he is back in Florida I’ll worry about him being alone. Which brings me to the subject of the day.
Dad and I were talking this morning about what it was like when so much of his family lived in Florida. You see, he isn’t a snow bird who decided to stay. He has been there since the late 40’s. Several brothers, a sister, parents and in-laws all lived in driving distance to one another. He was talking about having Sunday dinners with siblings, nieces, nephews, parents. It was a regular thing.
When my kids were growing up having Sunday dinner at my parents house was a ritual. My sister and her family were there as well. My brother was still single at the time but he was there to fight over the last of the mashed potatoes with my son. My parents house was small but somehow there was always enough room around the table for all of us plus any other aunts, uncles, or cousins who happened to be visiting. My Mom would have had a fit if we didn’t show up on Sundays. As the kids got older and had their own activities Sunday dinners dwindled to every now and then. They finally faded to a memory as the kids grew up and the grandparents grew older.
I have the feeling this is typical of most families.
I’ve tried to do a family dinner thing with my grown children. It’s rare to be able to get all of them here at the same time. Everyone is so busy with their own lives. Last summer I tried to extend a once a month invitation for Sunday. Thought it would be nice for my parents to come and spend time with everyone. I think we actually got the whole crew once.
I’m not going to give up on this. I would like my grandchildren to have the same kind of good memories that my children have. I want them to remember dinner at their Grandparents house and playing with their cousins and fighting over the last bit of mashed potatoes with their uncle. Decision made. Let the campaign for family time begin. Watch out kids. Moms on a mission.
The demise of Sunday dinner and family dinners in general, is one of the saddest realities of modern times. This is not just my opinion. There is significant research that proofs a positive correlation between children from homes that regularly dine together and those that eat apart from parents or on the run. Studies suggest that language development, background knowledge, and most importantly, increased self-esteem just some of the important by-products of the family dinner. Let’s resurrect this important tradition. Count me in for the campaign!
I love the Sunday dinner idea but some of my kids are far away, How about occasional Sunday Dinner for friends if family isn’t available. I especially would find this great during the long winter months.
That sounds like a great idea! Or, invite a friend to join a family dinner. I have 2 family categories, the family you are born into and the family you choose.