There were many years while our kids were young that we did not make a point to sit around the table to share meals as a family. In those days, Doug worked crazy long hours. As a full-time teacher and Momma, I was doing well to get something warmed up for the kids to eat. It wasn’t until Doug was on a more “normal” (okay…I don’t know that he has ever worked what most consider a normal schedule) schedule and our kids were in middle and high school that we resurrected the family supper in our home.
I’m so thankful God prompted us to make supper around the table a priority during those years. It was there that we caught up with all the happenings in our kids’ lives. It was there that we all prayed together for each other and for other people or situations. It was there that we laughed until we cried and probably cried until there weren’t any more tears. And it was there that many memories were made.
I was never the mom that made multiple meals for her family. I cooked. You ate what I cooked. It was okay to not like something. It was not okay to not try something. Oh the stories that come from that one simple rule!
One night I roasted brussel sprouts in butter and set it on the table. The groaning started right away.
“I don’t like brussel sprouts!”
“How do you know? Have you ever had them?”
“No, but I know I won’t like them.”
The rule remained. You at least needed to try them. Supper continued. All the kids conceded and tried the new dish…or so I thought! As we were about to finish up, Dale looked over at Blake’s glass of tea and asked, “What’s in your tea?!”
We all looked that way! Blake looked at the floor. There, in his large glass of tea were all the brussel sprouts he had “tried” and promptly spit into his glass. Oh my! It’s funny now, but it was not funny then. Deception got him nowhere, except at the table eating those tea soaked brussel sprouts!
Another time, Doug cooked for us! Fish foil pouches…you know wrap fish and veggies up in foil and broil or bake? Well, those who know me know that I’m not a huge fish fan unless it is covered in wonderful breading and deep fried. However, I will follow my own rule and TRY new things. Each of us carefully opened our own little foil pouch. The looks on the kids’ faces were priceless, but I’m sure the look on my face beat them all. It didn’t look…quite…done. Now knowing I was no fish expert, I just figured that was the way it was supposed to look. And oh the smell! Fish just does not smell good! However, I expected my kids to try it so I had to try it, too!
We probably could’ve won a lot of money if someone had been there to video this meal! Each of us bravely took a bite. It was HORRIBLE!!! The kids tried so hard to swallow it down. I, on the other hand, promptly spit it out into the foil pack, wrapped it up, and told the kids…DON’T EAT THAT! It was AWFUL! Doug was slightly offended and determined to prove the other five of us wrong. He tried to eat it. Finally, he admitted how gross it was and we all tossed that experiment in the garbage and grabbed something else to eat.
So many more stories…
- Cody sitting at the table for hours refusing to eat any brown beans and cornbread
- A quite young Dale innocently renaming the vegetable lasagna (also a failed experiment)…I’ll leave the new name to your imagination
- A friend of the boys amazed that a family ate together at the table
- Constant questioning about what I hid in the meatloaf or if the potatoes were real potatoes or some other white veggie
- I could go on and on…I’ll save some for another time
Today, I’m thankful for the memories! I’m thankful my family still gathers around the table each Sunday to share a meal together. I’m thankful that many nights our table is still full even though our kids are grown and married. I’m thankful for times Doug and I have at the table just the two of us. It is a place of connection! A place to rest in the love of family.