I knew the day would eventually come, and though it's not a surprise, it kinda hit me while I was watching an episode of Giada in Italy.
(Does anyone else watch that on the Food Network and love it as much as I do?)
On this particular episode, she is with her whole family, they're in an unbelievably beautiful mansion in Tuscany, and she is cooking with and for her family. She mentions that one of the reasons why she cooks is because it's in her blood~to feed this family of hers, and it's something she was handed down from generations past.
And I realized that this is the exact same reason why I love to cook. It's been passed down to me from generations before (Mom, my grandmothers, their mothers) and it's what I grew up knowing. Growing up, my mom made dinner every single night of the week. Very rarely did we eat dinner outside of our home. It was just understood that she would make dinner, we would eat around the kitchen table, and so it just went.
It wasn't the food I loved so much, it was what happened when we all sat around a table together. To this day, I love a good holiday meal, for that very same reason. It is something so special, and it cannot be replaced by anything, in my opinion.
When Todd and I married and started our family, we morphed into that same routine. I don't really remember us eating dinner without kids, but I know we did. Once I started having kids, every night, I would cook dinner, we would pull up the high chair(s), and we would all eat together. The boys don't remember that not happening. As a special treat, sometimes, I would let them eat in the living room while watching a movie, but that still doesn't happen all that often.
Of course, family meals don't happen all that often anymore either.
That's the part that I knew was coming, but it all just kinda dawned on me Sunday night. It's so sad, even typing that. I knew that as the boys started getting older, that their schedules and things would start taking over a little more, and sure enough, it has begun to happen. I'm reminded of this, because on Sunday night, we sat around the table for the first time in several days, and even then, Todd wasn't there. He was working.
The point in writing this is simple: cherish, protect and guard your family times. I require them all to be home at least one night during the week, and sometimes they're home more than just that one night, but that's the minimum. I have another friend who does this same thing~she has always had Monday night as family night in her house, and for them, it works. If you are young and have a family, or even if your kids are a little older, have dinner together, as a family. Make sure the time is uninterrupted. Put away the cell phones, turn off the television, take away any and all distractions, and just sit and eat.
And before any of that, pray. Who are we, if not for the Lord and for His many provisions? Thank Him for all of that, including your family and commit the conversation that follows to Him, making sure it's honoring to Jesus.
I promise, you will never be sad that you started this routine.
And if cooking is not your thing?
Order you some take-out, make a frozen pizza, or eat macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. The food is not the point, at all, it's the table and what happens when you're all seated together. If your kiddos are little, make it interesting for them and ask them some of their favorite moments from the day. There are many ways to entertain the little ones, I promise.
Try this for yourself, and see how much of a gift it will be in later years, when you're raising a house full of teenagers. (Or if your kids are grown.) Cherish this time together, because before you know it, they'll be a lot older than you think they should be.
In my mind, they should still look like this.
But in reality, they're not at all. The older two tower over me and the younger two are catching up quick. I miss these days! I love their ages now, but I miss these days. I knew that would happen too, my daddy warned me, but I'll save that for a later post.
Love to all.