When B was born, we all ate together at the table - he was in a high chair of course, but still, we ate at the table. I remember thinking it was a habit we wanted to form early on.
After b was born, somehow we lost our way. I am not sure exactly when it all happened. Somewhere in the mix of taking on a second job, and whirlwind of 2 toddlers, and the business of life and such...I don't know. Nowadays, the boys eat at their little table, I sit on the couch next to them with a plate and the Canadian usually eats in front of his computer.
So lately I have noticed a few things I want to address:
- b is 3 now and he canNOT behave in a restaurant, i.e. sit at the table - so we rarely go out.
- B and b won't eat hardly anything anymore.
- B and b are hungry at bedtime.
- We are disconnected as a family.
So I decided that we need to get back into the dinner routine, even though it will ultimately mean more work for me, and even though it will probably be a painful transition. *SIGH*
So tonight, without any fanfare, I cooked dinner and set the table. I even brought the food to the table rather than making the plates first. I put a variety of items hoping even the pickiest of eaters would find something. I told everyone that dinner was ready and to come sit down.
In a word, it was...W.E.I.R.D.
B had this confused look on his face, and said, "What are we doing? Are we eating in here?" He was intrigued and happy to play along.
b screamed his head off and did not want to sit at the table. We would not let him down. In his defense, he was napless and irritable anyway. This will be a process!
The Canadian scowled the whole time and would not even look up from his plate when directly addressed with a question. Disappointing, but not unexpected.
And me, well...
I was left sitting there alone, after we gave up on b and set him free, after B ate 3 bites of rice and 2 bites of a roll and finally after the Canadian reached his limit of togetherness.
While I sat there...
I had flashbacks to being a girl and sitting at the table, this same table that my Dad made my Mother when they got married. I also remembered sitting at the table at my grandparents house, and my grandfather always saying the blessing. I did ask B to say the blessing tonight, as he is accustomed to saying the blessing at school (I LOVE his school).
I remembered that setting the table was always my job as a kid. I think B will like to adopt this job as this "project" moves forward, so I will let him give it a try next time.
I stared at the ugly mess of pans and mismatched bowls and plates and think next time I will take a few extra minutes and make it look a little nicer. It really wasn't that much extra work as I had thought it might be.
And so I cleared the table, loaded the dishwasher, and shed a few tears, but I am not defeated.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
One of my favorite obscure-nobody-remembers-it-but-me songs is REO Speedwagen's Keep Pushin'. As I cleaned the kitchen, I cranked it up and sang along...
Keep pushin, keep pushin, keep pushin, keep pushin on
Keep pushin, keep pushin, you know you have got to be so strong
Keep pushin, keep pushin, well even if you think your strength is gone
Keep pushin on