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Tonight We Dine

June 2, 2011

     Well, how did it go?  Were you able to have dinner at the dinner table?  Did you actually use real plates?  If so, give yourself a gold star, if not , the challenge still stands.  Dinner occurs every night of the year; you have 364 more days to accomplish your goal.

     If you actually ate dinner together at the table, your prize is not really the gold star.  Your prize is much greater.  “Vanna tell them what they’ve won!” “Well Pat, they have won an all expense paid trip to quality family time.  While there, they will experience true fellowship, laughter, and bonding!”  , OK, maybe all of that did not happen at your dinner last night, but give it time, it WILL.

     What is the difference between dinner and dining?  Dinner is the main meal of the day.  Dining, in the dictionary is: the act of eating dinner, but I think it is so much more.

     When we dine, time slows down.  We actually engage in conversation WHILE we eat.  We discuss topics of interest, we laugh and we reminisce.  Dining is when necessity and pleasure overlap.  Our society eats dinner.  Few of us actually dine.

     We are all going to give it another try.  Tonight we dine!  The goal tonight is a table set with real plates, utensils and glasses.  For extra credit, try a table cloth with napkins.  And for super star extra credit, light some candles.  At this point the meal itself is not that important.  Just make something simple.  Focus on the table and the fellowship.

     Now, to take it a step further.  You can start the conversation with the age old “how was school today?” or “What did you do today?”  Then I want you to branch out.  Here are some sample questions to ask.

Who was the person you most enjoyed being with today and WHY?

Did you experience or see any acts of meanness today? (bullying) What did you do about it?

Who do you admire most at school (or favorite activity) and WHY?

Who is your favorite teacher (or coach) and WHY?

     The WHY part of each question is so important.  This is the word that is the beginning of a conversation, a peek into the heart of the person we are talking with.  If we only ask, “How was school today?” we will get a one word answer, “FINE.”  If your child attends school, there is an entire world happening that you don’t know about.  Dinner is a wonderful time to make sure our children are safe, secure, happy, protected, engaged and encouraged.  If the world is a battlefield then school is the front lines.  Make sure they were not wounded during the day.  They may need some first aid.

Let’s try it again. 

You are invited to: Dinner 

Location: Your dinner table

Time: Tonight and as often as possible

BYOC – bring your own conversation

Please consider sending me a comment and telling me about your family dining experience.

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