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What I REALLY Learned While Eating Together as a Family

What I REALLY Learned While Eating Together as a Family - Columbia SC Moms BlogOur dining room table holds our family of seven, where we eat five nights a week. It’s the only 45 minutes in our day when there’s no television, cell phones or gadgets … it’s guaranteed time for all of us to be together in our crazy house of five boys.

We eat together.

We try to use real dishes, napkins and silverware. Sometimes we eat on paper plates. Sometimes we eat at the huge counter in the kitchen (at least one child and one adult has to stand). Sometimes we have to wait until some horribly late hour, when the last boy walks in from a sports-related event or a parent walks in from a late meeting.

We eat together.

We go through stages in our house. During the summer the boys take turns planning the menu, and then making dinner for everyone. As practices begin and games take up 3-4 nights a week, we live off casseroles I prep late Sunday night. And during the winter the slow cooker is prepped with warm comfort food that’s ready as we all walk in the door.

We eat together.

What I REALLY Learned While Eating Together as a Family - Columbia SC Moms Blog

The boys set the table and the boys help clean up. The seven of us trip over each other, drop plates, and occasionally yell at each other (we’re all human). There’s usually one dancing, and two tussling with each other. And don’t forget a twin who may want to jump off the couch like a superhero in the direction of the dining room table.

We eat together.

In our house, the time together is more important than the food that’s actually put on a plate. My mama once told me it didn’t matter if we were eating sandwiches or a bowl of cereal, as long as we were eating it close to each other. And she was right.

We eat together.

My boys have learned how to make pizza, guacamole, and scrambled eggs.  They have learned to load and unload a dishwasher. All of them know how to tie my apron when my hands are messy, or grab an egg as it rolls haphazardly towards the edge of the counter. Most importantly, they have learned to leave the rest of the world behind and focus on our family for a time each day.

We eat together.

What I REALLY Learned While Eating Together as a Family - Columbia SC Moms Blog

We pray before each meal – several times.  The twins prefer we all sing the blessing, and then we hold hands and recite one or two more. Our blessings range from the formal prayer I was taught as I grew up at Grandma’s house to the “bless this food and each other” version from my daddy.  Imagine a 6’3, 15-year old leading our family in the “Super Man blessing,” complete with flying motions!

We eat together.

Important things happen around our table. I hear about school, friends and sports. We talk about politics, religion, or the latest video game. The babies tell us about their “ouches,” and (while they may be different) the older boys do the same. You can learn a lot over a meal, especially if you take the time to listen as you chew.

And that’s why we eat together.

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