Dinnertime was always one of my favorite times of the day. As a child 6 o’clock meant it was time for day to return home from work and the family to sit together for dinner. Everyone with a special seat at the table. I was to Dad’s right and Mom to his left while my sister’s each had their own place at the table. Being the youngest of five girls I never really knew how these special places were established. When I had my own children each had a special place at the dinner table. No one every told them where to sit. They chose a place and when the youngest arrived her special spot at the table was already established without anyone every having put any thought into this decision. I am sure that is how I arrived at my own place. Even after my sisters where out on their own and I could choose any place at the table, I sat to the right of my father. There was a spell of time when dinnertime wasn’t pleasant experience. I stopped eating meat in Third grade which must have thrown my poor mother over the edge. She was raised during the depression in an impoverished family so food was stretched and not wasted. Here comes a daughter who refuses to eat what is on her plate. There were years of sitting at the table until 9 pm with fish or a piece of meat lying on my plate. At 9 I was allowed to leave the table and go to bed. Eventually my health was affected and the doctor told my mother she was not allowed to force me to eat. Our relationship changed and dinnertime, once again, became a pleasant experience.
Today, my three children are grown and on their own with their families. I had to adjust my lens a little to become flexible and look at the world a little differently. When we get together for dinnertime now it is either more formal at a holiday meal, meeting out at our favorite restaurant, being silly, or maybe grabbing something quick for a picnic. Here are some shots of the variety of ways we currently spend dinnertime in my family.
Sharing dinnertime with family or friends is still a special time in my life. The one thing I did for myself when my youngest left home was to continue having dinner at the table. I would light a candle, play some soft music and make myself a delicious meal. Even when alone we should care for ourself and continue traditions. They will be the same tradition except with yourself. No reason to switch your life and sit in front of the television or skip meals. Enjoy your life and treat yourself with respect and love.
At 6 pm, I still have a quick thought of my mother, father and sisters. Most nights it is so fleeting that it hardly registers. Meals with my own children was never set in stone. Sometimes they ate with either my mother or sister because I was at college or working however when we did have a meal at home it was one of my favorite times. We would prepare the meal together or they would hang out and share their day with me. At the table we would share stories or take turns building onto a story one of the children would start. My youngest would add humor and get everyone laughing. So, in my world dinnertime was a wonderful experience once my mother overcame trying to force me to eat.
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Love and Light!