Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's your Best Thing?

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.


Akelamalu said...

When our boys left home I decided hubby and I will still sit at the table for our meals. Of course it is usually just the evening meal during the week as I leave for work before he gets up and am not here for lunch. We always have something to talk about. :)

I bet you can't wait for the babies arrival. :0

pink dogwood said...

what a great tradition. I used to do something similar with my daughters when we go for a walk. They had to altenate and tell me one thing that happened at school.

Twins!! That is so exciting - congratulations :)

Contest Chris said...

Great Post! In fact, it is the Featured Post over at Worth a Thousand Words.

Daryl said...

Mazel Tov!

Amazingly your daughter's bou twin are the THIRD set I know of .. first are already here, born the night before Thanksgiving, Logan & Lucas. Then there's my cousin's daughter who is due beginning of June .. no names yet .. and now your's ... amazing

I wish her easy labor and a smooth delivery ..and good names!

Willow said...

I'm reading and writing this while holding my daugther's son! I agree that helping care for my grandson is one of the great joys of my life!

The Muse said...

:) what a not sweet...Glorious post... I can just feel th love you have for family! :)

Louise said...

One of the best things that ever happened to YOU for sure! SHE will be extra tired soon, but still, what a blessing. Congratulations to all of you!

I love this post. My cousin did a post a long time ago about the time with her children after school, and she said she asked the same question because it didn't get a "good" or "fine" answer. I tried it, and she was/you are right. It is the best idea in the world for keeping in touch with what is going on in the lives of children. And they get used to it and start thinking about their days and what their answer will be.

We rarely don't have a family dinner at the table. Tonight we were playing a game and laughing so hard that none of us could stop. I hope those are wonderful memories for my girls. I think they would be if I were the child.

RiverPoet said...

That's a beautiful tradition, Deb. Long may it reign in your home. And many, many congratulations to your daughter on the twins! I'm convinced you are going to be a wonderful Grammie!

Peace - D

Schmendel said...

New, fresh babies are one of the Best Things ever.

Elaine said...

What a lovely post...and a lovely Mum you are. x

Tilly said...

This was such a beautifully written post. Baby twins - happiness x 2!

Sanjay M said...

Wow what a beautiful idea - sure does deserve teh post of the day mention by authorblog! I'm sure to try this out with my family as well - thank you very much and best wishes to your daughter and grandsons!

Jeni said...

What a great post and now, you have a something else to celebrate too -along with the twin grandsons coming your way -this post got "Post of the Day" over at Authorblog! That's how I came to find you today.
Speaking as an old Grammy now -been a little over 11 years since my first grandchild arrived -if the Good Lord invented anything better than grandchildren, He kept it for himself!
It's the absolutely greatest feeling in the world to have grandchildren. I know have three -Alex, age 11, Maya, age 5 and Kurtis, age almost 3. (The two younger ones are both autistic and trust me when I tell you this as well, it may be a challenge to cope with some aspects of that disorder, but it sure does make your heart expand each and every day spent with them too! Blessings for your daughter and you as you begin this newest journey in your life.

Jeannie said...

I had dinner with my kids every night - my husband was rarely home then except in winter. I think it was generally pleasant. I don't think good conversation was ever a problem. But I think I might have asked "Anything good happen today?" if it was too quiet and that would get the ball rolling at least for someone.

Now, I am the one who's never home.

Beverly said...

Being a grandmom is my favorite role. Congratulations!

Deb said...

Hi Ake ~ Talk is good! And yes, I am SO excited to see the babies!

Hi Pink Dogwood ~ Keep on talking!

Hi Contest Chris ~ Thanks.

Hi Daryl ~ I agree - Twins seems to be popping out everywhere! The potential names have been the center of many discussions :)

Hi Willow ~ :)

Hi Muse ~ My family is my world :)

Hi Louise ~ Cherish these times. They go by too fast! They will treasure these memories.

Hi RiverPoet ~ Thank you.

Hi Schmendel ~ I agree.

Hi Elaine ~ I'm blushing. Thank you.

Hi Tilly ~ Hey! Welcome Back! Happy to hear from you. And thank you!

Hi Sanjay ~ Let me know how it works for you! :) And thanks for stopping in!

Hi Jeni ~ Welcome! And thanks for your kind words!

Hi Jeannie ~ Welcome ~ and keep on talking!

Hi Beverly ~ I am so excited! I am going to have fun! :)

Shadow said...

that is a wonderful tradition you've created. now what does one do with a husband who prefers to eat in front of the tv and won't fall in with the programme, heee heee heee. no, but seriously, what????

Poutalicious said...

Wow! This makes me glad that my significant other and I have the tradition of always setting the table for 4, even if our 2 sons who live with us are not going to eat with us. We set the table and then we make inquiries as to whether or not they will dine with us. If we find out they won't be there, then we put the clean dishes and silverware back into the cupboard. Every day! Never fail unless we happen to be eating out.

Doesn't this sound silly?

But I think we eat together more often because they know the table will be set for them.

Love this post!!

MyMaracas said...

That's a great, positive exercise! Congrats on getting your kids to play along. Best wishes for an easy delivery and happy, healthy babies and mom!

Marg said...

Way to go! Somehow I missed that post. Congratulations and you are on to a new journey....
Bless your heart. I love reading your posts. So true and always hits a core nerve in me...
Now, when my married kids come home, after lunch I ask, What game should we play? and away we go. Keep those traditions.
Enjoy watching her grow.....

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