Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eat Love (sometimes Pray and Argue): The Personal Essay

Yesterday, my mother and I had chicken for dinner. Hers was plain broiled with a side of steamed mixed vegetables. Mine was a grilled chicken wrap from the cafeteria. I spread a towel across her hospital bed, laid out my wrap and fries, and if I concentrated only on the conversation, for brief interludes it felt a little like being at the kitchen table, something I'm missing while away from my family.

Which is my slightly convoluted way of introducing my essay this week over at YourTango, on the many merits of eating together as a family -- not occasionally, but daily.

"My husband and I, and our two sons, ages 12 and 16, eat dinner together every night. As a family. At the table. TV, computers and texting not allowed. I have it on very good authority that this will enlarge our kids' vocabulary, boost their test scores, help them stay drug- and stress-free and even, paradoxically, trim waistlines (the author of that study obviously hasn't had my lasagna).
That all sounds super duper terrific, but none of the supposed benefits are why we do it. We eat together because it feels right. For that half hour, we ignore the outside world. We talk, sometimes argue, laugh and plan both trivial and important stuff. We look one another directly in the eye and speak out loud, often in full sentences, with no abbreviations. Emotions, not emoticons."

You can read the rest here.


Ann said...

Enjoyed the timeliness of your essay in light of the media blitz of the movie.

Lanham said...

Every single line of this is so true, especially the part about how much dedication it takes to eat together as a family in this age. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What an inspiring piece!