How dinner time serves up more than just food
While I spend lots time thinking and talking about what goes on the dinner table, I’ve always believed that what goes on around the table is just as important.
When I think back to my childhood, I can trace back so many memories and stories my mum, dad and grandparents told us about their lives growing up while we were sharing some kind of meal around the dinner table.
When I was younger I didn’t necessarily appreciate the fact that we HAD to eat dinner around the table every night. My father was Malaysian Chinese and it was a very strong cultural thing for the whole family to eat together every single night. I used to think it was unfair that we had to stop and come to the table when ‘The Simpsons’ were on or I was chatting to someone on the phone. But, you know what, I’m so glad that we made such an effort to eat together as a family whenever we could. We’ll never get that time back!
When we’ve been at work and daycare all day, it’s lovely to pause and reconnect. At home now, we always start our meal by doing cheers with our water glasses (Bodhi looks forward to this!), and chat and share stories about our day. Sometimes it doesn’t quite work out if Bodhi is over-tired or restless. So we let him get down and play while Carlos and I take 15-20 minutes to have dinner together. I don’t stress when that happens.
Sunday night dinners with my dear mum, and my brother and sister and their partners, is another great ritual we are developing (Dad, who sadly passed away a few years ago would be happy!). Bodhi loves it, he tells his own little jokes and cracks up at them. It’s great for him to see everyone else sharing and trying different food, and laughing together. He gets to have other role models, not just Mum and Dad, who get a bit boring after a while and aren’t as cool as everyone else.
When you get together around a table, the meal becomes an experience; and through this simple act of sharing a meal, so too are stories, knowledge and laughter shared. So here’s cheers to lots of laughs, good times and memories around your dinner table!
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