In today's Daily Dose, Dr. Laura asked, "What's your best memory from a family dinner when you were either a kid or now as an adult?" We received numerous responses from you - some sad and poignant, but most happy and heart-warming. Here are only a few…
We make it a point almost every evening to have dinner as a family.
After our first was born, I joined a mom's group and we all sat on the floor in a church conference room and went around the room saying our high and lows for the day as a new mom. This was incredibly helpful to hear other mothers having similar highlights and issues.
As a family, we thought this might be a good idea and today each person goes around the table and tells their "high" and their "low" for the day. Our boys ages 12 and 10 love it and it sure beats asking "How was your day." It is also good to hear how my husband's day was too. It helps me to make sure I have something exciting to say each day too. It is an excellent way for kids to talk and listen and same for the parents. We all look forward to dinner time!
We were a combined family, my mom had 4 and my step dad had 4. Family meals meant "breaking out the leaf" so we could all fit at the dining room table. It was nothing but laughter and chatting and happiness. My mom still laughs remembering how we'd recite lines from movies together, sing songs etc, and still marvels how all 8 of us could remember so much from stuff we'd seen so little of.
The only time the table was quiet was when a certain brother of mine had to use the bathroom. He liked to sing while he relieved himself so we would all get quiet to listen to him sing, then bust out laughing when he came back to the table. There was one time we had salad with our meal. I thought it was a squeeze bottle of ranch dressing, so I squeezed it over the salad and ended up with almost the entire bottle on my plate. At 30 years old now, I still have yet to live that one down, its always "keep the ranch away from Lauren!" I didn't always get along well with my step-siblings, but I can honestly say I don't remember even one family meal that has a bad memory attached to it.
As a mother now, we try to sit down as much as possible. My husband works in retail so many nights it's just me and the kids, but they love it when Daddy is home and we all eat together. In fact just last night my 6 year old said "I love it when we all eat dinner together!" You can't get much more affirmation than that!
We ate weekday meals together, but Sunday lunch was always special. My grandmother would join us and we shared wonderful stories.
The best memory I have is when we moved our parrot into the kitchen. No one noticed him as we bowed our heads to say grace and in that quiet moment after we all closed our eyes the bird started squawking "hello" and "pretty bird". My grandmother nearly jumped out of her chair and we laughed the whole meal. It was a real icebreaker moment and we really enjoyed each other's company that day. My grandmother wasn't an easy person to like, but the bird interruption lightened the mood and we all had a great time.
Sharon sent in:
When my son went off to Yale, he told us the thing he missed most from home was our evening dinners. (My husband is a physician and he made a point of being home for dinner even if he had to go back to the hospital after it.) Our son loved sitting around the dinner table talking about 'everything'. When his sister joined him at Yale, they made a point of having dinner together one night a week. It was very important to them. Now they each are married and back in town so we try to have dinner at least every couple of weeks so we can still get that wonderful feeling of family we had so many years ago.
My best memories of family dinners (which our family always had together) was my older twin sisters arguing over who got the coveted brown melamine plate to eat off of! Also my dad saying right before dessert, "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" Then there was the once a month dinner of "liver" my mom insisted we have for the iron it contained, and how I tried to slip it under the table to our fox terrier! I always got caught and had to clean up the floor afterwards, as even the dog wasn't too crazy about liver night either!
Growing up in the fifties and sixties, IT WAS written in stone the whole family sat down to dinner together. Every meal contained lively conversation about our day. Mom and Dad chimed in just enough to keep the stories coming. In hindsight, I realize it was mostly us kids doing the talking and I'm sure that was orchestrated by our parents. But what really strikes me was long after the meal was done and we kids had fled the dinner table for more exciting adventures, Mom and Dad sat there for hours talking. What appeared so boring to me as a child, I now fondly remember and realize as a loving, committed relationship. It's a tragedy all of our gadgets, trinkets and conveniences have ironically taken so much away from us.