Monday, September 30, 2013

Time at the Table

My family recently purchased a new table. That is, of course, if you consider one from the 1950’s to be new. Now, I am not one for change. At work, I lead it; at home, I despise it. Just ask my wife and her friend who were attempting to rearrange our furniture when I came home from work that day.
Needless to say, when I received the e-mail and the photo of this new table, the expectation was for me to give my usual snarky comments and reject the idea of something new. However, when I saw the table, I could not help but think back to my childhood and the memories built around my dinner table. You see, this table looked exactly like the one that I sat around with my brother and my parents for many years when we were growing up. It even had the metal sides that would catch our legs if we were not strategic in our get-away.
Having a father who worked second shift in the newspaper business and an older brother who was very active in sports, along with my adventures, dinner as a family was not always possible. Still, my moth- er, who kept us all together as mothers do, did her best to provide a dinner for us every night and, when the planets aligned, we sat as a family unit.
Although I didn't realize it at the time, I have a special place in my heart for that yellow metal table, which is now back in style, at least in our house. After all, it was where mom experimented with zuc- chini casserole, something the dogs would not touch, even though it was garnished with crushed potato chips. It was also the platform in which my brother quickly discovered the veal parmesan was actually eggplant parmesan. I could continue to serve up these appetizers, but it is time I get to the entrée.
Our children are on the go, our families are overbooked. It was true 30 years ago, and it is certainly true today. What is also true is the fact that our children need us to be present in their lives. They might not tell you; after all, we probably never did. Still, I urge you to put checking in with your child on the dai- ly menu, even if it is only a meal at the drive-thru between soccer, strings and homework. Take time to get the dish on his/her school day, homework and peer relations.
Being a great parent does not mean we have to dish out a gourmet meal every day, but it does require several helpings of your presence each week. The memories you will create will be sweeter than any dessert you may serve.
Bon Appetite. 
Mr. Michaels

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