This morning at breakfast, my 11 year old son mentioned that he found out that out of 30 children in his class, only him and 6 other children have a nightly dinner together at a table. I was baffled. We live in a very family-oriented neighbourhood, where a lot of women are stay-at-home moms and families are large. I thought, a dinner together was something everyone is doing. However, it seems that most families don't do that anymore. He told me that dads grab their food and sit in front of the TV, while moms have their dinner while browsing on the computer. The boys are in the basement playing videogames, and the girls may be up in their rooms reading or texting, while grabbing a bite on the go. This is how it works in our house: On the weekend, I make a meal plan for the coming week. I get technology to help me, of course, and I throw together the menu with my Paprika app on the computer. Once I figured out what I'll be cooking for the next 7 days, the program puts together a shopping list. I check off everything we already have in our pantry (things like salt, water, onions and such), the shopping list syncs to my phone and then we go shopping - as a family. Sure, we don't like shopping, but it's part of the work. We all pitch in.
Then every evening I cook dinner, and when it's done, I yell "DINNER TIME!!!!! Come and get it or I throw it in the trash!!!" and they stop whatever they're doing and come sit at the dining room table. And we eat together. Even if we'd rather be doing something else, like playing video games, watch sports or browse the internet. We do it, because it's our routine. Dinner interrupts whatever we are doing, and we sit down, together. Sometimes the news are on in the background, and we talk about what's going on in the world. Other times, we just eat silently. No, we don't always have lively dinner conversations, like we're supposed to. We may not be in the mood to "share what we've experienced today". But even then, it's a good feeling just to sit there and eat, together. It must be, because so far, we always managed to accomplish it.
Yeah. I always thought we were normal. Turns out, we're not.