Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Donata Thomas
Contributing Writer 

Food for Thought: The Family dinner table


I have always revered the picture by Norman Rockwell titled “Freedom of Want”. This idyllic experience of dining together epitomized what a family dinner should look like to me.

Our family hasn’t made it to the dinner table every night, but we try to make it happen as often as possible. I can’t tell you that it’s always a pleasant experience. Often times the dinner table shines light on family issues and a healthy portion of parenting has been served from our scratched and water stained table. I can tell you, that the effort is worth the reward.

My middle child is away at his freshman year of college. Just before Christmas break I called to ask him what he wanted his break to look like. He said that he was just really looking forward to one of our sit down dinners that started or ended with a dance party, one where we sit and have awesome conversation with no hurry to leave the table; and to just eat some home cooked food.

And of course, I got a little teary. All the effort I put forth on those ridiculously chaotic evenings, evenings where full scale strategic planning took place just to gather everyone around the table, they made their mark. The dinners had after three hour baseball practices in the mud and the pouring rain. The dinners carefully constructed for wrestlers watching their weight. Those dinners made in between cleaning up puppy messes or while catching the four year old cutting off all of her hair. The special dinners made for birthdays and before school concerts.

At the dinner table is where we made the bulk of our family memories. The dinner table is where my three children formed the little inside jokes that they giggle about today, even in spite of their age differences. The table is the safety bubble the kids’ dream of coming home to. The table is where we filled out High School registrations, college applications, job applications and first tax forms. The dinner table is where the kids vocalized their dreams and transformed those dreams into goals and formulated plans to achieve those goals.

Yes folks, it was well worth the effort.

Make some memories at the dinner table, you won’t regret it.

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