This is where I go out on a limb and ponder a while.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Dinner Table

E. and I were watching a program on Nat Geo the other day.  It was about the African Wild Dogs.  Something caught my attention.  The dogs worked together as a pack to bring down a large herd animal.  They shared the meal peacefully and the narrator said that eating together was an important bonding experience.

Right away my thoughts turned towards the human family.  I couldn't help making a comparison.  Sitting down to supper each night helps keeps a family together.  I know it's not always possible, but it's important enough to make the effort.  Sometimes I have to hold dinner off until a later time if someone has to work late.  Sometimes I'm too busy too cook and we may just have scrambled eggs or sandwiches.  So it's not really the setting or the content that's so important.  It's just the being together.  Some people get too caught up in the setting - tablecloths, candles, flowers?  I can't manage that every day.  Our kitchen table gets used.  It's also my office, my daughter's homework center, and a catch-all for everyone's mail.  So sometimes we have to shove it all over to one side in order to make room for our plates!  No matter, as long as there is room for the food and we're all sitting down together.  We eat, then we make sure we stay at the table for a few minutes after we're finished eating just to visit.  We ask each other about our respective day's activities, and sometimes discuss events in the news, or family news - whatever is relevant.
I love all the beautiful "Tablescapes" that people post on their blogs, but I find it impossible to achieve in real life.  So I thought I would give you 'reality table' on my blog.  This is my table on a normal day.  Well, not really, because I don't normally have time to do a jig-saw puzzle!  I took time off to do a puzzle since my main squeeze is out hunting ;)

But the point I want to make here is, if it's important enough for wild dogs to come together for a period each day to bond, I can't help but think that we also need to continue to make it a priority.  The experts do recommend that families sit down for a meal together each day, and yet many families don't manage to do just that.  There are too many activities each day after school right up until bed time.  I don't have a solution for that and I'm not judging anyone who's stuck in that routine.  I know that most of those activities have merit.

Right now we're in the midst of hunting season, and we haven't had a family meal in a while.  I miss it.  It's just been E. and me every evening.  I'll be happy when the guys are finished hunting and life gets back to normal. And then it will be time to look forward to the ultimate family dinner - Thanksgiving!
Waiting for the turkey!

I wish for you to see all of your family around your table this Thanksgiving season.  All of my children are coming home for the big meal and I'm so excited.  I think I like Thanksgiving the most of all.  It's like Christmas without the gift shopping.  I always page through all of the decorating magazines and *think* I might use some of the ideas for decorating my holiday table, but in the end, I'll be lucky if I can fit all of the food on my table, along with all of my family.  It's all good :)


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