In the past, dinnertime has been spent in front of the TV, catching up on our shows, barely talking. Once Henry was born, dinnertime changed to one of us eating at a time while the other kept Henry occupied. When we moved to our new home where the dining room is actually separate from our living room, our dinnertime ritual changed again.
We started having dinner as a family. We've worked Henry's nighttime routine to include dinner at the same time as we eat, and to usually include the same food that we eat. Rather than rushing through dinner, or occupying our time with mindless television, we've come to enjoy dinner as a family. We talk about our day, listen to Henry's babbles, and take that half hour to just relax, no phones, no interruptions, just us.
It was recently that I thought about the importance of this time for Henry growing up. I'm glad that he'll get to see that each night it's important to spend just a bit of time together as a family, no matter how busy the days are. I'm glad that he'll see his mom and dad eating together, enjoying each other and talking to each other. I'm glad that he'll know that we're interested in his life and he'll have the opportunity to talk to us each night before we all go our separate ways for our own responsibilities.
It's small things like this that make me think about just how monumental raising a child is. The smallest things, like dinner together each night, can form the foundation of a child's future life. And I hope that when he has a family himself someday (far, far in the future) he'll make sure to sit around the table each night talking about life with the people that he loves the most.