Eating together at the kitchen table is something that has always been important to me. It was the way I was raised and the way I wanted to raise my kids. When the kids were very little, I often sat one or the other on my lap as Steve and I ate so they could be included in this daily routine together. As they were able to sit alone comfortably, I sat them in the highchair and scooted it to the table where they could sit with us, even if it meant they were playing with toys while we ate. Enjoying a meal together each day at the table continued to be a routine of my family. It brought us together each and every day when my husband got home from work so that we could share our stories.
When my rheumatoid arthritis got really bad starting in 2008, eating at the table stopped. During that time from 2008-2010 when the pain was extreme, I admit that I often just wanted to "check-out". After making dinner for my family, I didn't have the energy to make conversation or even to listen attentively. Sitting in front of the TV was easier for me and became our new routine. It didn't help that I was gone four evenings out of the week working and generally ate alone before heading out, something I don't really enjoy.
This week I am on break from work which means I am home with everyone in the evenings. This also means dinner at the table. I found myself getting quite excited about dinner and the holidays last night as I placed the flowering plant that Alexander and I picked out yesterday while grocery shopping on the table. I felt ready for everyone to come eat the meal I had prepared as I sat out Thanksgiving napkins sewn by the kids many years ago and arranged the Pilgrims my mom painted for me before I even had kids, but that have become a tradition of Thanksgiving at our house. I even went as far as to put out candles and put on music. It was nice having each of us together listening and talking. This week will be the beginnings of something wonderful that was set in place years and years ago. I am happy to return to the family table.