Dinner Time…Family Style

Oh the JOY of family dinners.  I reminisce on my own dinner routine growing up and am reminded of a few things:

1.  Good food
2. Laughing hysterically at my older brothers
3. Our designated seating arrangements. 

Of course, in it’s entirety, it was a great time to for me and my brothers to talk about our lives and the (hottest) school gossip with our parents, ultimately leading to some serious family bonding and communication.  In fact, I believe my parents’ insistence on “family dinners” is a big reason for how my family openly communicates and how close we are today.

1.  Good food:  I’m a born and bred Georgia Peach (Go Dawgs!) and my mom, her mom and my dad’s mom are all practically “Paula Deens” in the kitchen.  The food is what got the family to the table in the first place. 

My mom knew how to please each of her kids and we all looked forward to our dinners.  I remember when we would play outside and my mom would ring a bell from our porch signaling it was time to eat. 

By then, we were worn out and hungry and the aromas couldn’t keep any of us away.  Thanks, Mom, for feeding me such YUMMY food.  I think the boys would say the same!

2.  Laughing Hysterically:  I almost always mention in my posts that I am one of three children, but, the only girl.  My brothers are hysterical and it is not difficult to make me laugh out loud.  Once the food would get the family to the table, the laughing would eventually ensue. 

Honestly, my brothers would have me laughing so hard it got to the point of my mom annoyed with the (laughing) tears streaming down my face and my giggle interrupting her lovely dinner. 

Sometimes she would finally ask me to sit in the other room by myself, and I would continue laughing.  In the other room. By myself. 

I’m sure it was obnoxious, but it is one of my family’s favorite memories to this day.  AND… It didn’t dilute the bonding because my brothers would pretend to be excused from the table, but come entertain me while I ate by myself.  My mom recently admitted that she thought it was hysterical, but she was trying to teach me important dinner table manners.

3.  Designated Seating:  We all had our seats.  The tricky thing was figuring out where guests would sit when we would have friends join our family dinners.  It always felt strange when a brother had a late baseball practice or dad was out of town for work and a seat was empty. But those of us who were not busy in other things, still went to the table for dinner. 

As the youngest child, dinner felt particularly different once I was the last one at home.  I still looked forward to my mom’s food, good laughs, and seeing my parents in their “assigned” seats, but I didn’t prefer having two empty seats at the table each night.

So, those were the Meadows’ family dinners.  Of course, we still had our pizza nights and frozen meals when we were in the middle of a little league baseball season or things just got too hectic.  But, for the most part, we did dinner together. 

How do you do dinner with your family?  What family dinner stories do you have?

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3 Responses to “Dinner Time…Family Style”

  1. Kelly Voelker May 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    This is too cute – and it definitely reminds me of my own family dinners. We always had assigned seating for dinner growing up. Not sure how it came about, but it just happened that way. It always felt a little odd when someone wasn’t home for dinner… Like things were out of balance! Because of this I still believe the family dinner is so important and hope to have this tradition someday with my own family!

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