Short Thought 146 (family dinner)

When I was growing up, my father didn’t enjoy going out to dinner as a family. He seemed out of his element, yes, but more than that I think he minded that he couldn’t act like himself the way he did at home. On the home front, he sat at the head of his table, at a dinner my mother prepared that didn’t start until he sat down – no matter how long his children sat waiting – and held forth. The holding forth was bad enough, but one of his preferred meal-time pastimes was verbally attacking his children in turn which, naturally, he couldn’t do in a restaurant.

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13 thoughts on “Short Thought 146 (family dinner)

  1. Jim Link

    I’m sorry to learn of this family custom, Colette……..I wonder if on the rare (?) evenings when your father took the family out to dine, he was at all anxious or fearful that his family could see that he didn’t HAVE to behave so cavalierly, that there were more palatable options for him to adopt……??

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Nah, that would be nice but he didn’t worry about what we thought. He lacked introspection. I could probably write a whole post about the family dinner table (but I made myself get it down to 110 words on purpose!)

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thanks Van. Yes, old school families waited for the man of the house to take a seat. Good things happened around that table too, especially as we aged but as I imagine you understand, one doesn’t cancel out the other.

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  2. Anxious Mom

    I can relate, that’s no way to treat the little family time you get each day. I remember cooking dinner at my new house for the first time and inviting my dad and stepmom over. Told him dinner would be ready at 6:00. Shortly before 6:00 my stepmom comes in and tells me that my dad decided to start changing the oil in his truck (which he could have done anytime that day since he was home all day). The look on her face when I said we’d start eating without him and let him warm his up later was something else, but didn’t quite compare to the look of shock when he strolled in 45 minutes later to find that we hadn’t waited on him.

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  3. Anonymous

    Our dinners were hard also. My parents have changed some, and they show a heart that wants me to treasure them and not give up on them. They do things that bless me and love me. They always have. But they also do the things that tear down instead of build up. They always have. But it’s within boundaries, and they show this heart that trusts me. It’s like a child’s heart that trusts me to still love them, even though they show me a nature that is unlovable. I feel like they hope I can still love them, and so in God I find a way to love and treasure them, yet stay safe from the nature in them that is anti-love instead of love.

    If they went outside of boundaries, I’d stay away. But they stay in boundaries and I can’t forget the one time my mom started crying and told me, “I’m so grateful.” It was a time I could have closed the door on her or kept the door open. Somehow she knew I’d chosen to still treasure her. There weren’t actual words or anything that addressed the situation directly. Nothing was said. But somehow she knew I had chosen to still love her. And she wept. I felt like I had been given a child’s heart that trusted me, and I could keep that heart safe or destroy it. I’ve turned to God over and over for guidance on how to save her heart without letting mine be destroyed. I am like my mom in this, ready to weep and say, “I am so grateful.” He has helped me. He still helps me. I am so grateful.

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