Even more responses came in from Dr. Laura's question: "What's your best memory from a family dinner when you were either a kid or now as an adult?" Here are several more:
Supper time was always special at my house. Although my parents divorced when I was a teenager, those early years contain fond memories of us four kids and my parents around the supper table. My dad was home by 5:15 or so every day and we had supper shortly thereafter. Even after the divorce and re-marriage he tried to keep that tradition and was somewhat successful.
My siblings and I are all grown and married now and we still gather often at my house. When my son was growing up we continued the tradition in our home. I especially remember the summer before he moved out to continue his education in another town. He lived at home for two years after high school while he worked and attended classes trying to make his way. That summer before he moved to another town to work and go to school we had a lot of suppers outside around the table on our deck. Many a night we were there until late just chatting and enjoying each others company. Was so wonderful spending that time with him.
Once he finished college, married (in the way you would be proud of as we were/are) he moved close to us, they had a baby and now our Sunday tradition is mass together and then back to Grandma and Grandpas' for Sunday lunch. So I'm thankful for the opportunity to pass the family love and traditions on to the next generation. Charlie is 15 months old and already chimes in to the lively table discussions! A family gathered around the table is priceless!
You are so right about the importance of family dinners. It was the one time I believe we could sit down and really enjoy each others' company, empathize with them if they had a bad day, laugh with them about an experience, or bring differing opinions to the table when discussing current events.
My own experience with my children has given me the gift of knowing their strengths and weaknesses. I believe they have gotten to know mine also.
I always wanted my children to enjoy rather than dread dinner with the family. When I was growing up, I hated dinner with the family. It was the time of day when our father would yell at us, demean us, and punish us for whatever we had done. I never felt the joy of sitting down with my siblings and parents to dinner. It seemed as if we were "pitted" against each other and tears were the only way a family dinner ended.
Therefore, I did everything in my power to make sure family dinner with my husband and children did not end up the same way. The only tears shed at our table were tears from laughing too hard.
Thank you, Dr. Laura for your wonderful work.
My husband and I have always made it a priority to have family dinners together. Sometimes we had to get creative. When my husband had to work late, I often packed up the kids and the dinner I prepared and the kids and I brought dinner to him. He had a nice meal and the kids got to eat with their dad.
I remember one fun dinner we had at home. Everyone has a usual seat at the dinner table. One night, we all sat in different seats and pretended to be the person whose seat we were sitting in. So, I was in my husband's chair and I talked with a deep voice and asked "my wife" how her day was and how the kids were. We all laughed.
Keep up the good work. Being a stay-at-home mom was the best job ever!
Seven kids, Mom, and Dad all crowded around a kitchen table, could get chaotic at times, but we were all together and mostly happy (when we weren't yelling "Who took the mustard?!").
The dinner none of us will ever forget was the night I, as the youngest and probably around 4 yrs old, was cutting up instead of eating, and Annalee, one of the eldest, in exasperation, burst out, "Corky, if you don't want to leave, eat the table!" We all burst out laughing even Annalee.
P.S. We had to ask to be excused and wait for Dad to say "Yes" before we were allowed to leave the table. And grace before meals was a "must". And although we are all now scattered throughout five states, we are still very close and love each other very much.
When my 3 daughters were young we stayed home on New Year's Day. The youngest was still in a booster seat. I made a big fancy dinner, set a gorgeous table, and even had crystal stemware that the girls drank apple juice out of. Everyone dressed up. Making my husband and children feel special...without anyone else involved was my goal.
Dr. Laura.....the girls are all grown up now with families of their own but they remember this. I miss those times...but am so glad we made memories.