Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dinner Time

I like spaghetti and meatballs for many of the same reasons I like stews and roasts; because it is a communal meal with everyone sharing in the same food and enjoying (presumably) the same meal. I had made the meatballs and sauce the night before in anticipation of severing them up last night for myself and my kids. I had hoped on Sunday, that Monday was going to be a long and productive day so I tried to have Monday's dinner ready in advance....

As it turned out...Monday was indeed a long and productive day. Abington, Arlington, Barnstable, Bridgewater, Cambridge, and Plymouth were the cities and towns I hit yesterday. While it took a crowbar to pry me out of bed yesterday I looked forward to the day ahead despite having to cover much of eastern Massachusetts. While olives, coffee, and danish made for a great breakfast (don't worry...I had the olives at least 45 minutes before the coffee and danish...) I was looking forward to dinner with my kids.

A lot of parents, I suspect, are like me, resorting to the easiest and fastest ways to feed our kids. Takeout, premade, and instant foods have become staples. A lot of nights I resort to eggs or pancakes or pasta or tacos...something fast and easy to make...But I have also noticed that I talk less and less to my kids at mealtime and that all four of us had forgotten that meal time, especially dinner time, is not merely an occasion to ingest food; its also an opportunity to share about our respective days, to converse, to talk.

I enjoyed last night's dinner not because I like spaghetti and meatballs...but because during our meal we talked, and shared, and along the way reminded ourselves that we are not four people bound together by genetics and circumstance but that we are something greater than our individual parts; we are a family.


  1. "we are something greater than our individual parts; we are a family"-
    that is such a beautiful sentiment!

  2. This is something I regularly struggle with, the talking. Sometimes getting any of my boys - 7, 8 and 10 - to talk about school is tough. But bless my wife's heart, she keeps sitting us down at our communal dinner table, TV and radio off, phone unanswered.