We have dinner at home nearly all the time, seated at a table, with surprisingly vivid conversation, but not always with a napkin in our lap. We still laugh at the so called “catastrophic failures,” (child runs away with cupcake icing in the hair and dinner untouched) because messing up is part of the fun.
While we are playing with plates and cups, I hear “Mama, let’s have a little convermation together.” When we are with others, we try everything - being the guests. We never turn down what we are served! (Are you kidding , we know what goes into a party – bring the host a nice gift for goodness sake!) So, without costing a fortune, without chaos and stress at the dinner table, we have practices our family can live with. Sharing what happens with the food is on whatifedmychild.com, a blog starting before graduate school and reaching almost all the way to after.
Sharing the stories, the conversation, the places our thoughts run to, we construct at our table a shared identity that is the center of every story. I can’t imagine, predict, proscribe, or reproduce what works for other families. What friends and I discovered, over the phone and over dinner, was that we were thinking about all kinds of things, and that it was a great part of our friendship to think about it together.
Dinner, family, useful graduate thesis on philosophy and architecture, more dinner.
Back to the conversation, back to the stories.
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