Now for a happy post not about how much I miss my family, but about some of the things I love to do with them.
My darling sister wrote in her blog post, Family Time, that one of her favorite things to do as a family is watch stupid TV shows so that we can collaboratively mock them. In addition to her good list of such TV shows, I would like to add “Toddlers and Tiaras.” This show definitely wins the Most Mocked award in my book. I am consistently stunned, shocked, amused, baffled by, and embarrassed for the parents on that show. I swear we wouldn’t watch it, except that some of those kids are so stinkin’ cute!
I love game nights with my family. The rare occasions when we can get everyone – even my dad! – to join in are a huge treat. We often play Mexican Train Dominoes. For those of you who don’t know, this is a highly addictive game and we all end up showing our competitive side (but Mom still somehow manages to always win…). I have great memories growing up of the family gathered around the table, or on the living room floor, or all squished at the tiny map-covered table in our camper playing Yatzee and Life and cards.
I think more than anything else I like dinnertime. I love holding hands to pray and hearing my dad’s prayers ending, “And we thank you for your loving faithfulness. We ask all these things in your name. Amen.” I love sitting around the dinner table together, even if my youngest sister, Maggie, is moody and rolls her eyes when I ask how her day was. Even if my mom is eating 6 celery sticks, a whole tomato, and 3 slices of swiss cheese, while the rest of us eat spaghetti. Even if Olivia’s reaching her nosy toes into my foot’s personal space. Even if my dad randomly changes subjects. Especially if we are joined by some of our adopted family (my husband, Andrew; Olivia’s boyfriend, Andrew; Amanda; and many of our other friends). We can’t be mad at each other for too long because eventually someone says something funny, and someone is laughing so hard that iced tea is coming out their nose. Family dinner is special because it doesn’t get to happen all the time anymore. Family dinner has something of the magic of childhood about it, something I still cling to even as a grown woman starting my own family. I hope my future family gets to share and appreciate the blessing of family dinner.