Monday, April 5, 2010

Response #5 - Miriam Weinstein's book - "The Surprising Power of Family Meals

Tonight as I have been reading the last chapter in Weinstein’s book, I have had music playing that I call my “soul” music. Along with the beautiful melodies and words, I can’t help but feel sad that this book has come to an end! This book has made a powerful impression in my heart.

Weinstein speaks of her family meals, and I relate. I see myself with children underfoot, managing a baby, toddler, teenagers and other various life forms, all clamoring for sustenance – now! And my heart laughs at the memories. Then at the conclusion of the chapter she shares of her evening alone, when all is quiet, and her heart is full as mine is tonight.

What Weinstein has been trying to say, is that relationships are important, families are important, and family meals are a means to support and sustain relationships. She speaks a great truth when she writes, “Your family does not want someone extraordinary. They want each other” (pg. 240).

Although she points out some very practical applications of meal-planning, she states that many homes are “lacking in the happy disorder of productive daily life.” When I consider all the children who do not have this experience I want to gather them all in; I want to not only feed them but fill them with love because they are a valued child. I too miss that chaos.

I was not fortunate to have grandparents growing up, but I had incredible parents that you knew loved you. I can remember my mother when we were all gathered together for a meal, and she would look into our faces and smile. We were too busy to notice, but as time passed, I have come to understand that smile and the joy she felt when we were together again, and the tears that would fall as we waved good-bye to leave for our own homes.

It says a lot about people when asked what they remember most about their families. It isn’t about fame or glory; it is about the funny moments, the tender moments, and the one-on-one moments. It is the moments that say “this is who I am.”

Since reading Weinstein’s book, I have made an effort to make sure my husband and I have meals each night. The preparation time is much longer than I care for, due to my habit of deciding what to eat 20 minutes before I begin. But I have felt it important. My husband has always been one to inhale his food and leave the table, but at my insistence he has lingered a little longer, and it has become an enjoyable time for the two of us. I have become more “intentional” in making my meal times better.

No comments: