Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Family Dinners

I grew up in the 80's/ 90's (thankfully, I was just a kid in the 80's so I don't have any pictures of 80's bangs - well, none that I'm responsible for... but that's a whole other story...)

Anyway, I grew up with smurfs, snap bracelets, hyper colour shirts, and I thought Zach Morris was dreamy (if you don't know who that is, look up Saved by the Bell - it's totally rad)

I TOTALLY had this poster on my wall!!!

I watched Saturday morning cartoons and played outside with my friends until my mom yelled
"Paaaaatti Lyyyyyynnnnnn" from the back porch. Then I ran home as fast as I could and I ate dinner.... with my family.
Shocking, I know.

My family ate dinner together every single night. My dad owned a business in town so he worked shift work, but he always came home for dinner then went back to work (not everyone is able to do that, I know, but he made a point to be there at meal time - and I'm just now realizing how cool that is)

Mom or dad cooked dinner every night, we were very much a "meat & potatoes" kind of family, spaghetti was "something different for a change" as my mom used to say.
We were so "meat & potatoes" in fact, that when I decided in my late teens that I didn't want to eat meat anymore, my mom (horrified) said "What will you eat??? Carrots and potatoes??"
We still laugh about that, and mom has since experimented with all kind of plant based dishes. Because she's supportive- and wonderful.

Don't get me wrong, these meals weren't always peaceful - we were far from a perfect family, my sister and I fought, I sometimes refused to eat, mom and dad would sometimes use these meals to lecture us about one thing or another BUT we ate together every day.

Sometimes family dinners looked like this...

And sometimes they looked more like this....
I didn't realize that eating together every day wasn't the norm until I got much older and people told me they they ate their meals in front of the TV or they would go to a fast food restaurant most nights.

We went to fast food restaurants... but not often, and if our parents let us choose what restaurant to go to we never chose a fast food place. We would want Chinese food or Swiss Chalet or something like that - so at least it was closer to real food than a burger and fries.

But I'm wondering if it's odd that we shared meals? Is it totally a "1950's", outdated practice? Or do families still sit down together at the end of the day and 'break bread'?

My partner, who I've affectionately referred to as "husband" since the day we got married... I was excited that I could finally call him my husband - so I started calling him that, all the time. So much so that it's a year and a half later and I still rarely call him by his name. If any of my colleagues take a message for me when he calls they always say "Patti, husband called" LOL

What was I saying...

Right, my partner and I sometimes eat in front of the TV and watch Big Bang Theory (because it's hilarious)

This is what we do when we eat in front of the TV too!

but we often sit at the table while we eat and we chat, and ask how each other's day was - and listen. It's nice.
I guess what I'm wondering is, are we old fashioned? When we have children are they going to eat with us? Or text us from their bedroom that they're ready for dessert? (That would involve me getting a cell phone.. which is a WHOLE other post.... maybe I am old fashioned... )

There is a ton of research out there about the effect that eating meals as a family has on children, but I'm not going to get into any of that. All I know is what I lived - although sometimes it was a pain, and I really wanted to get back to fort building or barbie make overs I had to sit with my family and finish my peas before dessert.

I'm curious about other peoples up-bringing, is it similar or the exact opposite to mine? And would they/ are they raising their children the same way or completely opposite to how they were raised?

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