“That’s it…if I have to hear one more word about who gets the last green bean I may scream,” I bet that isn’t heard around most of your tables, but it is always, and I mean always heard around mine, whether it’s the last corn on the cob, the last green bean, last cooked carrot, or last head of broccoli my three oldest girls fight nonstop about who gets it. Poor little Sam and Steph would argue too but they are too afraid to jump into the middle of them, even Jason only rarely dares speak up and says, “Hey, I’m the dad, I get it.”
How I got children who love their vegetables so very much, I am not completely sure. Nan goes weak in the knees if someone even speaks the word corn, and Suzy about cries when she brings in the very first tomato from the garden(and yes I know they are technically fruit, but we all know they should be classified as veggies) and Jenny makes the best darn green beans that you have ever tasted.
I love our family meal times. There is a lot of us around the table, even with Luke all grown up and married to sweet Danielle, there is still 7 of us around the table and 5 of them are kids. That makes for very loud dinner conversations, I assure you and may I add some very strange ones. My girls are like me, their brains jump from one thought to another so quickly that Jason just sits back and watches dumb founded. But he smiles, and we laugh and it is quite simply the best time of my day, well except for days when I have a migraine, then it’s just loud.
I can’t help but think about how sad it is in the millions of homes where kids come and go as they please, dinner jumps around between Arby’s or Wendy’s or the spot on the couch right in front of the T.V. No one cares as long as they are fed sometime before they climb into bed. We have a fairly strict mealtime at our house. It fluctuates only slightly if Jason is running late from work. The kids are done with friend time an hour before so they can come home or send their friends home so as a family we can do a quick clean up around the house while I cook dinner. Usually some of them are downstairs picking up from friends and some are up helping me with dinner and then shortly after Jason comes home dinner is on the table and all of us let out a sigh of relief. Heads are then bowed and quiet is heard while one or another of them offers thanks to Heavenly Father for our crazy family and wonderful food, and then chaos starts again as the jabbers start and the day’s stories are told.
Sometimes I like to sit back and watch when one of the kids’ friends stays for dinner. If it’s their first time their eyes are usually enormous and their mouths are usually slightly ajar as they watch the very loud joy…that’s what I like to call it…joy…burst out around our table. You know though, those kids usually keep coming back and before long they are joining in in the crazy excitement that is dinner around our house.
I know our kids will leave the house one day and that will be one of their favorite memories of growing up with Mom and Dad and I am all too happy to accommodate them. After all, those memories will be some of the sweetest ones that they will ever have. I wonder how many of the rest of the families around the world are taking time to make those memories in the rush and bustle and convenience foods of our modern day. If they are not, then they are missing out on perhaps one of the greatest gifts that God has given us…the dinner table.