Growing up, dinner at the table was mandatory. You were to be washed up and ready to eat as soon as Dad called. The food was brought to the table. Us kids would set the table and we would eat as a family. The picture perfect family. Well at dinner time anyways.
I remember the very first time I had dinner at Davids house. His mom had made tacos. She made our plates What!?! And then we took our plates up to his room. Yes to his bedroom! This was crazy! You cant eat in your bedroom. But we did. And even more insane was they had soda with dinner. Not that I hadn't had a soda before, but I always had to buy my own soda. And my dad would most certainly have a fit if I had it with my dinner. He flat out refused to spend his money on that sugar crap, as he called it.
So when David and I left home and moved in to our first apartment we did things his way. I served him his plate from the kitchen. Made my own and then we sat down and ate together. Usually in front of the TV. Don't get me wrong, I love this. I was more than happy to do it, but it was a little strange not sitting at the table and passing the food around. But it worked for just the two of us.
Thirteen Years and two kids later, I find myself longing for the way things were when I was little. The truth is, dinner time was one of the few things I looked forward to as a child. It was when our family was normal and happy. Most of the time. We were together. And I want to give that to my kids. I want them to remember sitting as a family, talking and eating and just being together. Even if its just them and me. And my sister. I think she missed out on this goodness too. David is usually working but on the weekends, we can totally do this right?
Right now dinner time for us goes a little something like this.
- I make the boys plates and take them to the table.
- I go back to make my own plate.
- Someone needs a drink, so I stop making my plate and get drinks
- I finish making my plate and go to the table
- Someone needs seconds or a napkin or something so I get up and get it
- I sit down and my plate is cold
- I microwave my food and go back to the table
- Everyone is done and its bath time, so
- I put my plate in the microwave, if I even made one and eat when David gets home.
Some days I don't even bother to make a plate and just wait for David. Sometimes that means 8pm and sometimes 11 or 12. Which yes I know, is WAY to late for me to be eating. And some days he gets home and doesn't eat and I forget to eat myself.
Last night Melisa and I brought all the food to the table and we all sat down together. There wasn't much talking though because we were sorta busy stuffing our faces with ribs. Anthony ate 3 servings of ribs, when he usually doesn't eat meat at all. And Alex took a few bits then had a meltdown. That's a whole other story in its own.
This morning on our walk to the bus stop Anthony asked. Can we bring dinner to the table again tonight? When I said yes, he smiled and told me that we should do it like that every night. It looks like change is coming to the Munoz house for dinner. And it looks like its a change that everyone will be OK with.
What is your dinner routine? Do you serve your family or is it everyone for themselves? Is food kept in the kitchen or brought to the table?
Oh one last thing, because it was always my favorite part of dinner and Anthony asked about it this morning. Do your kids have friends over for dinner or is this just something we did back home. We always had friends over for dinner. And they ate things they would never have at home. One kid at up her meal and when my dad asked her how she liked octopus she replied "I don't eat Octopus" You should have seen her face when Dad told her "Well you just did!" I'm sure some of you that ate at my place have your own stories, so feel free to share them here. I'd love to hear them!