Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Monday Night Dinner"

I didn't get much knitting done tonight - but that's okay. It was "Monday Night Dinner."

Anyone who knows anything about our family, knows about Monday Night Dinner. Most people are amazed and, I think, really a little jealous that we do this. I guess I can't blame them - I am blesssed with an awesome family.

Monday Night Dinner started about 27 years ago. See, I met the hubby my first year away at college. One month after starting college, I met the hubby. From the day of our first date we pretty much saw each other every day. I lived in the dorms, he lived off campus. We were inseparable. We were in love. New love.

Skip forward about a year-and-a-half. We're engaged and done with school. Six months until the wedding day. We come home to get jobs - he goes back home to live with to his parents, I go back to mine. All of the sudden we live about 45 minutes away from each other and can't see each other every day. Not good.

So, Mom suggested he come up on Wednesday nights for dinner. We can see each other in the middle of the week, and he can spend a little more time getting to know the family. My sister still lived at home, but my brother had moved across town. But, on Wednesday he'd come home for dinner. My sister's boyfriend would come, too.

From then on, for the last 27 years, our family has gotten together once a week at Mom and Dad's for dinner. Every week, with very few exceptions. See, Monday Night Dinner actually started out as Wednesday Night Dinner.

Things have changed a lot in 27 years. When Wednesdays didn't work anymore, instead of giving up the tradition, we all found another day that would work. We grew up together. My brother and sister both got married. The hubby and I had three kids..... then my sister and her husband had three kids. Things have changed, but we all still go "home" once a week and have dinner together.

Our family is like most families - we are all very different, but that's what makes it so fun. We've had many a "spirited" conversation - we'll, mostly the guys and their famous debates. Monday Night Dinner is where my hubby, brother, and brother-in-law all became best friends. And still are today.

It's where the kids run around and have fun, until they get too loud and we inevitably send them outside. Every week - they can't wait to see each other. They're totally bummed if for some reason we can't go. School and work schedules are planned around Monday Night Dinner, if at all possible. It's when we celebrate birthdays and accomplishments. It's where we all catch up on what happened last week, and what we're going to do this week - where the guys are going to mountain bike ride next week, or hike, or camp, or motorcycle ride or, like tonight - work on their minibikes for next weekend.... It's when the girls plan their next sleepover (tonight, actually), or a day with Grandma. It's where my sister and I just sit back and watch it all happen, and let someone else cook one day a week (THANKS Mom.... I don't say that often enough). It's one of the reasons my sister and her family didn't move away last year.

Things have changed - from it just being Mom, Dad, and newlyweds - to young families with high chairs all 'round - to finally outgrowing the big dining room table, so that now there's a kid's table and the "adults" eat in the living room - but it's a small house, and we're all still pretty much in the same room and it's still one big family, and one big conversation.

Our kids have grown up together - they're all "our" kids. Our kids have been blessed to have grown up in a family that respects and appreciates each other - and they have seen that through tough times, disagreements, but mostly through love and fun times, that family is family - they are special, they love you no matter what, and there is nothing, besides their God, that is more important.

Thank you Mom, for cooking Monday night dinner, every week, for the last 27 years. It's who we are. I love you. See you next week.

28 Comments:

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Isela: Purling Sprite said...

Wonderful tradition to have. It will build strong bonds within the family--a great way to bring up the children and great grandchildren.

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger Karen said...

What a wonderful tradition! My son was away at college for 4 years and was 6 hours away. now he lives 1 hour away...we may just have to start this tradition!

 
At 4:57 AM, Blogger Jenn said...

What a great tradition! You're so lucky to live so close to your family and have such a wonderful relationship!

 
At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Beth said...

This is a very special blessing indeed. Thanks for sharing it!

 
At 7:02 AM, Blogger Sonya said...

It's hard to keep something like that going over the years. Congrats to your family for staying close!

 
At 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It used to be Sunday "supper" for our family. That is, until a few years ago. Dad's been gone 16 years and mom is 92 - or will be in August. She has become too frail (fell and broke her hip a couple months ago - doing WELL!). Our family of only 3 siblings has grown to 9 grandchildren & 9 great grandchildren!! No one else really took the reins, except one niece has Thanksgiving at her house and sometimes Christmas.

I've started my own tradition. It's Tuesday Family Night. I too, plan all my activities around that night and will not book anything unless it's a work thing that I have to do. Out of 4 sons, only 2 live in our city. So, we take turns - one week it's at our house and one week at one of the boy's. What I need to start doing is calling the other 2 that night so we can all "be together" at least in spirit!
Marsha

 
At 7:14 AM, Blogger Brenda said...

i love this post! growing up as an only child in a military family that moved every year, i always dreamed of the sort of family life you're writing about. i'm glad someone is experiencing it :)

 
At 7:31 AM, Blogger LC in Sunny So Cal said...

Looks like Mayberry to me!

I think it's great that you've kept up with this. I don't "get" the sibling thing, being an only child, raising an only child, but I've seen WAY too many families whose siblings are not even cordial, much less looking forward to family get-togethers.

I guess it's a good thing we never went ahead with that whole "throw Barb under the bus" thing!

I'm always glad to see my friends living the good life!

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger Chris said...

That's a great tradition!

 
At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Rebekah said...

Your right, I'm very jealous, what a wonderful tradition. My family is so spread apart something like that isn't possible. I live in Illinois 6 hours from my parents and my sister in Iowa, my brother lives in Alaska. Grandparents are in Florida and Missouri.

Your very fortunate.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

I love you. I probably don't say that often enough.

 
At 2:05 PM, Blogger Mia said...

You live the life of my dreams...

Amen and prayers that your blessings just grow.

 
At 2:25 PM, Blogger Areli said...

What a wonderful tradition! We used to go to my grandparents after church every Sunday for lunch. It was a real treat, but now with everyone all spread out and all over the place, it's more like twice a year. It's still a real treat, though.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Stephanie said...

Oh wow! We did that when I was growing up with extended family every Wednesday. "They" still do, but I moved away, first to NY and now to Fort Worth, but I hear about it and it still goes on 30 years later!

 
At 4:43 PM, Blogger Jen said...

My mom had a Sunday afternoon lunch with her parents. I went to it every week until I moved away. I still go to it whenever I go to visit them. It is nice, but I have to say that I'd probably enjoy it more if I spoke Chinese. As it were, I just have a blank expression on my face the whole time and wonder why it sounds like all they ever do is fight. Until I find out, no, that's not fighting, it just sounds like it. Really, they're talking about their friends' spleen.

 
At 5:51 PM, Anonymous heather said...

Will you adopt me so I can come and have Monday dinners with you? I love your family, gosh.


Oh, and I'm so diggin' that little motorbike. I need one of those. Vroom!

 
At 7:21 PM, Anonymous amanda cathleen said...

Sounds like a fabulous tradition : )

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Wow. That's great! You're lucky to be able to do that.

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger duchessofgravity said...

thats a wonderful tradition. i hope we can sort something like that out when i move away from mom's house. see there's only two of us. but 2 can have a tradition too right? congrats on those 7 pounds lady. you inspire me!

 
At 1:44 AM, Anonymous zib said...

A lovely tradition your family has there. Makes me miss those days which are no more due to the family being so spread out and at the same time inspires me to do the own with my family here. Thank you for sharing.

 
At 7:25 AM, Anonymous ariane said...

Isn't great to have traditions! That's what a family is all about.

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger KnitPastis said...

I wished I had family nearby. I would do this in a heartbeat. It such a wonderful thing to do and to have your family get together like this. Sweet story.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Kathy said...

We still have Sunday Night Dinner at my Dad's house - where he makes "expandable meals" since you never know exactly how many of us will be there. When we're all there - my siblings, their kids - there are 23 of us (now you get a better sense of expandable meals.) I live in NJ and they are all in GA, so I don't get to Sunday dinner very often, but I miss it most every week and will call in so I'm as there as I can be.

 
At 12:09 PM, Blogger Gracie said...

You are so lucky to all live so close! What a great tradition!

 
At 8:16 PM, Anonymous Jeanie said...

I'm forwarding this post to my sister. We had been having "family dinners" every week (her family, mine, and our father) but somehow got away from it. This inspires me to get back to it. Thanks again for another wonderful post.

 
At 9:08 PM, Blogger Gina L said...

Lynda-
You are so fortunate that your Mom will do this for her family. What are her specialties? Everyone looks so content. My Italian grandparents did a Sunday Italian feast. Consequently, we all learned how to cook our traditional family recipes.

 
At 6:03 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Oh yes, Monday night dinners sound wonderful!! I love that everyone looks forward to it and tries to keep their schedules clear!!

 
At 11:13 AM, Blogger Lorette said...

What a great tradition! It's wonderful that your family likes as well as loves each other. You are all setting a great example for your children.

 

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