Let me try to paint a picture for you. It pertains to a lifestyle once lived in America … and other countries.
It’s 4:30, any weekday afternoon. Mom is at the stove fussing over whatever food is there cooking. Probably testing the potatoes for softness. They are about to be mashed. The kids are watching their favorite afternoon cartoons or better yet, outside playing burning off energy for a good night’s sleep. But the air in the kitchen is filled with the aroma of meatloaf and the possibility of apple pie ala mode afterward.
The front door bursts open and a booming voice belts out the words; “I’m home.” Mom turns and opens her arms to welcome her husband. She knows he earned his money for the day and she knows just maybe, she can relax to allow him to take over the kids if only for an hour or two.
After the hugs and kisses between hubby and wife, she’s always first with that, the kids all gather ’round and greet the Man of the Family. Dad puts his hat and coat in the closet and calls for the kids to wash up for dinner. They’re only too glad to do so. Mom is the greatest cook in the world.
The table is set. Usually by the eldest child and the food is neatly placed on the table. Everybody takes their place at the table and Grace is said.
Dad, the Bread Winner, takes the first slice of meat. He will probably assist any of the children who are too small to cut their own meat (even though it is meatloaf). Then serve the vegetables so the youngster gets enough to eat. Milk? All you want.
“How was school today, kids?” Mom is always interested in the education of her babies. She can hardly hold back when one of her little geniuses complains; “School is stupid.” It’s usually the eldest complaining. But because the eldest thinks so, the rest will follow suit.
Dad steps in, “Okay, who’s got the cutest boy/girl in their class?” To which a resounding “Ewww!” is heard. It never worries Dad to hear such an answer. But the conversation keeps flowing through the dinner. Little do the children know how much that 30-45 minutes pulled the family together. Made them a little closer. Which is not to say they won’t argue. Of course they will. They’re children. But they love each other enough to forgive and forget about it at the end of it all.
At bedtime, Mom reminds them to get their pajamas on and brush their teeth. Obediently, off they go. Maybe a complaint of; “Do we have to go to bed? This is a good show.” But Mother lovingly kisses each one good night. She then tucks them in bed followed with a prayer blessing everyone in the entire family including all the dogs, cats and … oh, God forbid we forget Farley the fish and Tommy the turtle.
Now, here’s the $1,000,000 question; How may families take the time to put a meal in a table and shut the electronics off and talk to each other about their day? Who talks about goals in their children’s lives? Do you ever ask them about their hobbies?
Take one night a week. Shut off all the iPads, phones, televisions, X Boxes and sit down at a table with real food on it. Please use real food. Not this instant crap anyone can microwave in a few seconds. Turn on a radio. Keep the volume down and listen to music the entire family can enjoy. Now communicate about each other’s lives. You’d be surprised what you might learn.