Should I Have Been Surprised?

A few Sundays ago, I was surprised by the response, or should I say “lack of response” I got when I asked the question “Do you talk about your day with your Mom or Dad over dinner?”  I rephrased the question, “or maybe you share and talk about this before bed.”  There were less than 5 kids that raised their hands (two of them were mine) out of 18-22 children. To be fair, I was talking to some younger three-year olds, so many they didn’t understand the question or maybe they talk about their day at a different time of day or call it something special.   But I still was a little shocked.

Dinner time at our house is a little manic.  I admit it.  Often I am or the DH is rushing around trying to 1) figure out something for dinner 2) make it and 3) try to do it before the kids have a “we are starving meltdown”.  While our dinners are never calm or Martha Stewart perfect they are  a time for family discussion about our day. It’s when we hear the best parts, the not so god parts, and the parts we are most thankful for.  These brief minutes of sharing give me a pretty nice snapshot of what my kids are experiencing and they get a small glimpse into what the day was like for me.

I often try to guess in my mind what will the kids will call out as their best part and not so god parts.  Most of the time I am completely off.   Here I think the 10 minutes I put the youngest in time out would be the not so good part of her day, but what wasn’t good for her was only having a few minutes on the swing at recess.   The best part of the day isn’t walking to the corner store for an ice cream treat, but the flowers we saw on the walk to the corner store.

I truly cherish our hectic, crazy, dinners where we rush to get the food on the table and no one is ever completely happy about what is being served.  Because when we finally do sit down (even if I need to leave for a meeting before dinner is barely eaten) something amazing happens.  We get to listen and hear our different stories and through them understand each other a little bit better.

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