When my four children were young I worked hard to make sure we had sit down dinners each evening ~ together. I had read an article in a magazine about how to promote healthy, positive conversation at the dinner table. I decided to give it a try because I was tired of the bickering, whining, elbowing and kicking under the table that seemed to have become a routine.
It was an easy idea - no gadgets necessary. No bells, no whistles, no gimmicks. I took my place at our table and asked ~ 'What's the best thing that happened to you today?' and then we went around the table - one by one - and we talked. It was awkward at first but the kids, my husband, and I quickly got the hang of it. I was amazed at how it pulled the family together and meaningful conversation developed. So often you will ask kids what they did in school and the reply is 'nothing'. But now they had to be specific and it worked- and it allowed me to get a clearer picture of what was happening in their lives. More importantly it forced all of us to focus on the positive aspects of our lives.
The one rule I had was...they had to say something. There were times during the teen years when they would reply that nothing good had happened to them. I would remind them that at least they had the opportunity to wake up and see my smiling face... and that was a good thing. They would do the eyeball roll but eventually they would come up with one good thing that had happened during their day.
So for the past twenty something years this has been a tradition in our home. We would do it even when we had dinner guests over. It is an ice breaker and a conversation starter. And now the kids are grown and gone. Our dinner table usually consists of only two plates or worse - we frequently eat in front of the TV ( I can't tell you how embarrassed I am to write that!). I realized recently that my husband and I have gotten away from our cherished tradition. So...I have decided to do something about that! Starting tonight we will have a cozy dinner together, he and I and whoever comes through the front door, and I will ask that very important question...'What is the best thing that happened to you today?'
It is a quiet, snowy Sunday morning as I sit here typing this post. Life is good. I am reflecting on the past week and reflecting on all that I accomplished. The best thing that happened was that we had a wonderful baby shower for my daughter who is pregnant with twins. Twin boys! I am going to be a Grammie ! It is hard to even comprehend this. Where did the years go? My daughter is going to be a mommy?! Oh, and what a wonderful mommy she will be!
The shower was your typical baby shower - times two! Our theme was 'The Perfect Pair' ~ and we celebrated with my daughter. We hugged, we laughed, we oohed and aahed as she opened a mountain of gifts. Her friends and family were so generous and I know that she and her husband are so grateful. I spent part of the time just watching her ...and remembering ... and thinking to myself that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.