It was never much of a thought. My parents always made it a priority to eat dinner together, so I do the same with my family. My hope is that my two boys never second guess the routine and do the same with their families, too, but I know that it’s a big wish.
Dinner for us is almost always grilled. Chicken or steak, with whatever vegetable is in season. We have replaced the starch in our dinner with an extra vegetable or fruit, so our plates are colorful. We drink milk or water. Some nights, though, we run a little late and eat frozen pizza.
Most nights, we all talk about our day. Our favorite part of the day, and our least favorite part. What we had for lunch or snack. Something funny that made us laugh.
Some nights, we don’t say much. Tired from our busy days, we sit quietly and only speak up to ask for the bowl of asparagus or an extra napkin. That’s ok because we are eating together. Comfortable enough to sit quietly; connecting despite the lack of conversation.
Sometimes we get the giggles. Usually one of the boys starts it by making a joke and we all end up laughing about it, and adding on to it. After our giggles stop, each boy takes turns trying to start it up all over again.
Every once in a while the boys don’t like what I prepare. Even I have foods that I don’t care to eat, so I don’t expect them to like everything. They still eat what’s on their plate, and understand that sometimes you need to try things several times before you can say that you like it.
We eat together because it’s the only time of the say when there are no distractions. No homework. No cell phones. No books. No TV.
We eat dinner together to reconnect after a long day. To laugh, to talk, to just be with one another.
We eat dinner together at our kitchen table every night, but it’s not always an event worthy of a blog post. Normal to our family may not be normal to yours, and that’s ok.
My tip? If your family is connecting, you’re doing it right.
Becca Ludlum was born and raised in upstate New York and currently lives in Arizona with her amazing husband and two sons, Michael and Jack. She’s a master recipe-tweaker and can often be found re-baking a recipe multiple times while trying to reach perfection, which is just fine with her family, co-workers, and neighbors who reap the benefits. Becca blogs at Our Crazy Boys and is a DinnerTool contributor.