As you may have gathered over the last couple of months, I'm very big on the whole family dinner thing. It's about routine, and the family unit, and it's true that our kitchen table holds a special place in my heart. A day that ends with my family gathered around, talking and eating, is a good day, indeed.
But you might think from my writing that my family never wavers from this routine, and that's simply not true. Our lives are as chaotic as any other family's; sometimes work and meetings and activities and sports and even friends get in the way. Not only that, but we're not always, you know, home. For that matter, even when we're home, we... okay, I'm going to say this very quietly... we don't always eat at the table.
There, my secret's officially out.
I mean, yes, most of the time we eat at our kitchen table, and we eat a home-cooked meal, usually from scratch.
... sometimes we eat take-out.
... sometimes we go out to eat.
... sometimes we eat at home, but there's a new Mythbusters episode on, and we eat in front of the TV (naughty!) in the family room.
... sometimes we go camping, and eat outdoors.
... sometimes we go camping, and it's stormy, and we crowd around our little table in our trailer and dine to the incessant drumming of rain on the roof.
... sometimes we have guests, and all eat at the big table in the dining room.
... sometimes we go to a friend's house.
... sometimes the kids aren't here, and my husband and I eat popcorn for dinner while watching a movie.
It's not about always doing the same thing, or always doing every supper exactly the same way. It's about being together. I love the "typical" meals at the kitchen table, I do---so much---but I love all the other stuff, too. There's just something about that end-of-the-day meal with the family. There's nothing quite like it.
Do you have a sacred "dinner routine" or is a meal together enough for you? Or do you feel like mealtime is no big deal, just time to eat?