A long time ago, long before we had children, Mark and I were out having lunch some where. Can't remember where now. What I do remember is the family that was sitting on the next table. First there was a couple and gradually they were joined by their children. Two had come to join them from university, one was there with a husband and another seemed to be still at home. I know all this because I'm nosey and listened in. What struck me was the joy with which they greeted each other and the happy hubbub of chatter that went on throughout the meal. I knew at that moment that if ever I had children I would want my future family to be like that one.
Early on in our parenting days Mark and I decided that we would eat with our children every night. It is always at the table, normally with music on in the background and a chance to talk. Everyone is expected to be there and to contribute. Some of our best family moments have been enacted around the table. It is here that we learn to listen to each other and to respect every speaker, whatever their age. We find out what we think and feel and to cope with differences of opinions. It isn't always peaceful and sometimes manners are forgotten, but it is always interesting and watching your children grow in confidence and learning to express their ideas is a joy indeed.
Tomorrow we will go out for a meal to celebrate Myles' birthday. Erin is coming home from uni for an evening to join us. We will eat, talk and laugh and I realise that what I longed for all those years ago is mine.
Photo is on my pinterest board 'dine' but comes originally from here. It is mu current favourite in my quest for the perfect dining space. I am obsessed with tables!