How do people not have family dinner? I suppose I can’t call what we do “family” because The Husband is rarely there. But every night we sit around the table, the children and I, and they tell me their tales.
“What’s the best part and the worst part of your day?” I ask.
What I hear is everything I need to know about where they are at any given moment. Most of it is delightful and some of it is a little sad.
The other night we talked about what best friends mean. It was quite by accident but it seemed fitting after The Middle One shared about his day. I imparted my “wisdom” that if someone says, “I won’t be your friend if you…” then they were never really your friend at all.
I know, my kids are young. They shouldn’t (and probably don’t) even understand this logic. But this is what comes up and who am I not to talk about it head on? They are grappling-the two older ones anyway-with their place in the world already and I sure as heck want my chance to at least share what I’ve learned. If they are forming their character, I want to make sure my hand is in it.
If they (yes, both) want to share that their friends are asking them to do things they don’t agree with (yes, already!) and then dangling the friendship as bait, I will most definitely chime in. Maybe they won’t remember. Maybe they don’t even hear me over the clanging of their little brother’s fork. But maybe, when the problems become drive drunk or steal something or puke up your lunch, instead of talk while the teacher’s talking, or clean up the toys late, just maybe they’ll remember what I said about real friends not making you uncomfortable with who you are.
I need these family dinners now, so that the stones are set for when the family doesn’t want dinner anymore.
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