The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Tip of the Week: Father’s Day Reflection

In Honor of Father’s Day, Guest Writer Steve Hathaway Shares His Views on the Family Table
“Supper’s on the table.” Sound familiar? At our house that meant someone had taken the time to think about what sounded good to eat. They then rummaged through the refrigerator, freezer or cupboard to find just the right fixings, and took the time to prepare a meal for the family.
Every night the same person does not prepare the meal. With six kids in the house, everyone learned to cook from a young age.
From grilled cheese to barbequed chicken on the grill, or even egg sandwiches, food is a very important part of our family social dynamic. We always have more soup in the pot than what is needed, just in case one of the kids brings someone home at meal time.  Food is important but at our house, no matter how extravagant or meager the meal may be, it is the time spent around the table that is important. We are able to catch up with each other; to take time away from hectic work, school and sports schedules to sit, relax and visit. Now, keep in mind, with eight of us around that table, the quiet one didn’t have a chance, so the volume just slowly increased in order that each of the kids had their say. I remember one of the girls had a friend who only had one brother. She wanted to be at our house especially at meal time just to observe the interaction and cacophony that took place among the kids.
This weekend, as we celebrate Father’s Day, our family table has grown. One of our six is married, two are out of the house on their own, one is studying in Indy, another just graduated high school, and the youngest will be a high school junior. We enjoy having all of them home about once a month with their spouses, fiancés, and significant others and the pandemonium and chaos continue with everyone participating.
Is the volume loud? You bet! Does everyone try to talk at the same time? Sure thing. Do the “newcomers” to the family just sit by and watch? No way! They join right in. I wouldn’t want it any other way. We’ve made many great memories around our kitchen table, and in September, we get to start training the next generation around our family table.

– Steve, husband to Linda and father of 6

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