Eating together as a family is important to both Paul and me. It's an activity that everyone can participate in no matter their age. It provides the opportunity for us to talk about the events of the day, what we learned, what struck as funny or sad or exciting, and what we hope we can do in the future.
There are times we talk about world events, something I relish since I'm not around other adults during the day. But since Laurel and Ian are too young yet to understand or show an interest, these topics are limited. If Paul or I dwell on such topics too long, the wee ones get antsy and may perform less than desirable tricks seeking attention. But as the kids get older, we will be able to include world events more and more. It's important for children to become aware of things outside their own little universe.
Often, topics include family members near and far. We are fortunate in having a large family, and there is constantly news to share or a story or two to tell. Ian and Laurel chime in cheerfully repeating familiar names and add that they want those people to come over. They never tire of their relatives.
What I look forward to most at dinnertime, is when one of us spontaneously will say or do something silly that makes us all laugh. Laurel loves blowing raspberries with food in her mouth, spraying anyone and anything within range. We try to keep straight faces so she will stop, but the silliness always overtakes us, we cave and laugh long and hard.
I also love displays of sweetness. I'm remembering a time when Ian and Laurel were sitting next to one another and Ian chose to hold Laurel's hand. We're not sure why he suddenly was so affectionate, but she sure loved it and let out happy, high pitched squeals. They must have spent a good five minutes eating with one hand and grasping their sibling's hand with the other, all the while giggling and looking at one another.
I look forward to dinnertime. It's important that we talk, that we know what's going on in each other's lives. It's important for us to have an activity that we all participate in at the same time. It helps us bond.
I realize that right now, while the kids are young, Paul and I have control over choosing to eat as a family every night. As Ian and Laurel get older, this may become a more and more difficult accomplishment. Being important to us, we will continue this nightly activity going as much as possible.
Paul, Ian and Laurel enjoying dinner. Yes, we keep a package of baby wipes close by. Laurel's a bit, ummmm, messy.
Thanks Lori, at Glass Half Full for the blogging idea of The Family Table.