Friday, February 19, 2010

More on Meals

I recall an evening when my kids were in grade school --
a weeknight, and I had cooked pot roast for dinner.
Nothing unusual from my point of view: it was dinner,
it was good, and we all sat down together to eat.
My next-door neighbor stopped by unexpectedly
just as we raised our forks, and when she stepped inside
and breathed in the homey cooking scents, she said,
"Oh! How wonderful! You've cooked a REAL meal!
And you're all sitting down together to eat!"
Indeed we were. Indeed we did every night.
If you must eat, it might as well be a good time.
The funny thing is that this neighbor was the epitome
of a Kansas (from whence she hailed) 1950's stereotypical
housewife. It would not have been out of the question
to assume that every evening meal at her table was
replete with home-canned peaches and freshly-baked
bread. But judging from her reaction, I'm guessing
that it was not.

So powerful, apparently, was my insistence that we sit
down together at the table and eat & talk that, recently,
when my son N. was visiting for dinner, and I suggested
that we take our plates and eat in front of the television,
he reacted with indignance and horror: we ate at the table.

It gives me no small pleasure to acknowledge that, as a
mother, I know I've done at least one thing right.



  1. Good for you!

    I grew up in a household where dinner was served at the same time every night and all four of us were there on cue. (Unless it was Sunday and a golf tournament was on-then you had to drag my dad away from the t.v.)

    I'm picturing tinned peaches and Wonder Bread in your neighbour's house.


  2. I'm pleased to read that there is at least another family that sits down together to eat every day.

    Our meal times are a pleasure, not a duty or a drudge. We set the table for lunch and for dinner; we take turns setting the table. For my children, it is a normal daily routine. I do have friends who say to me: "But where do you find the time to sit down at the table?" Priorities, I guess.

  3. Well done, T. I bet it wasn't always easy to get your family to the table, all at the same time. But I do understand how difficult it is for parents who have jobs, the job at home and the job outside the home.