Sunday, January 15, 2012

Best Part/Worst Part

Our family doesn’t have a lot of family meals. First, many of you know here that I’m not exactly June Cleaver when it comes to all things house-hold. I hate to cook, can’t boil water to save my life, and seriously get heart palpitations when I have to go to the grocery store. 

When I do cook something, my kids are thrilled. I would say on average, we have a sit-down dinner twice a week. Better yet, if I took a calendar and looked at the four weeks in a month, I would say the likelihood of us sitting at the table to a real meal, is about six to seven times a month. Is that sad? Are you all shaking your heads in shame at me?

It’s not to say that we don’t have time for each other, although yeah, we don’t have a lot of time for each other when it comes down to your regular sit-down real family meals: a meat, potato, vegetable, bread and a gallon of milk at the table. But who does this anymore? I personally didn’t grow up that way. Did you? I know actually that my husband did, and I’m thankful that he is very easy-going and never expected that of me, or our marriage wouldn’t have lasted almost 19 years so far.

We DO however try to come together to eat when we can, and I DO provide food and time for us to be together when it’s possible. When he’s not traveling, when one kid isn’t at a practice, or an art class, or out with friends. And every single time we are all together, sitting around our table for five, we have specific rituals that we stick with, and these traditions will follow us through, until the kids go to college, and when the kids return from college, and when the kids get married and come home to visit with their own families. And I absolutely love these family rituals we have created with the five of us.

I don’t know how it started, but Luke, our youngest, must have learned to say Grace when he was attending his Christian pre-school when he was three. He’s ten now. Every time we gather for dinner, we all take each other’s hands and Luke is in charge of saying Grace. Not Dad. I don’t know why this started, maybe because he said it so cute, but he’s been saying it since he could talk, so it’s been a LOT of years. And he’s never gotten it right, and I’m sure he knows it’s wrong now, but this is what he says: “God is good, God is great, let us thank Him for our food.”

THIS is our family prayer, and I absolutely LOVE it. 

The other traditions we have at dinner is our discussion: Best Part/Worst Part, where we go around the table and share the best part of our day, and then the worst part. It’s an expected rule that we CANNOT say that dinner is the best part because we all know that for all of us, being there together at that time having dinner is probably the best part of the day. 

We have to choose another aspect of our day. This is a great time for us because we’re able to share moments throughout our day we couldn’t be with one another and open up about things that may have happened that were less than ideal. It’s our time to connect and reveal what has been going on in our lives.

Life is speeding by for us. I’ve got an eighth grader, a seventh grader and a fourth grader. The older ones go out with their friends on their own; my youngest is not far behind. High school is just around the corner. I need these moments to connect and be a family. We need to remind them that family is the most important thing, THE thing that matters most in the world. We’re all we have. Friends come and go. Family is for life.

This has been another post I’ve gotten to share with you because of my affiliation with Fresh Takes on Family with Subway and I’ve been grateful for the opportunity. It’s made me open my eyes up to how important it is to really take time to be with the family, to create even more traditions and rituals, to keep the conversations open and continuing between my children, my husband and me.

If you’ve got traditions you’d like to share, you’re still able to do so at the Fresh Takes on Family site, and you and your family could be featured!

Thanks for taking the time to peek into my life a little bit, and I’ll be back very soon to share another amazing book about an incredible family. This one is called The Underside of Joy and it’ll have you mesmerized from page one!

My blog is a part of an incentivized online influencer network for Fresh Takes on Family Time Powered by Subway.


Megan said...

I grew up on that prayer and still say it when I sit down to dinner with my sweet cat. Thank you for allowing us a peak into your life!

Feisty Irish Wench said...

We say blessing for meals even when out in a restaurant. When Devildog isn't at the table, we say the standard Catholic fare "Bless us, O Lord..." but it's usually the "God is good..." model. Sometimes, Clone sings the one she learned in Pre-kindergarten.
But I really do like the Best Part/Worst part idea, and I will probably implement it in my own household soon. Thanks for sharing this.
We also have always had the baby at the table with us for dinner, even when she was a mama-milk-monkey. The only excused absence was when she was asleep during dinner. This wasn't an option with the boys, but I made sure it happened with our girls.

Jenn3128 said...

As a kid we had a family dinner every night. I can't imagine doing anything different with my own family now. We each have our seat and don't even think about switching seats!

Some nights are harder than others, especially if it was a rough day at work, but even then, we rally & have something easy for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is always our quick, nobody wants to cook, meal.

l arginine effects said...

We always serve it on our dinner. It serves as the power drink to us.

Feisty Irish Wench said...

I have started doing Best/Worst part of the day with my kids at dinner. I'm getting terse and sometimes amusing answers.