Growing up having meals together was very commonplace, but today with everything going on, it’s very difficult for all family members to actually be present and accounted for at mealtime. I have so many memories of being with my family at the table trying new dishes, eating my Granny’s fruit jello, talking about everything, anything, nothing, and my sister sitting at the table for an hour because she wouldn’t eat her oatmeal. Between work, school, church, ball schedules, and everything we do, it feels as if we are running a rat race with no end in sight. With this said, meal time has become a precious time not to be wasted in our household.
It amazes me how many people don’t sit at an actual table, use actual plates, forks, knives, spoons, and napkins… It has always been very important to me that my children have table manners and know how to eat in front of others not only so they wouldn’t be an embarrassment to us as parents, but to themselves. These skills are definitely scarce to some these days. In the McGrath household, we make a point, at least one night a week, to cook a full meal, pull out the fine dishes, cloth napkins, and set the table with all the trimmings. T.V. is off, no cell phones allowed (this is our policy at any meal time), background music, and conversation and laughter are encouraged!
It is during these meal times that we talk about happenings, struggles, successes, and just be silly sometimes. With two of our boys grown and living on their own, and only one son still left at home, our table has diminished, but we continue to try new recipes, invite family and friends to enjoy this time with us each week and encourage others to be sure to cherish this family table time. This is when memories are made, taste buds are developed and my sister did learn to enjoy her oatmeal.