47 Sundays – what? That’s approximately how many family Sunday dinners I make each year.
47 Sundays – when? 1:00 PM – plenty of time for everyone’s church to be done and out.
47 Sundays – why? When I was raising our four sons Farmer was gone 80% of the time. The other 20% he was either eating or sleeping – at least that’s what it felt like. Sundays on the farm we only do the necessities.
When the kids were young he would go do chores, come home and we would all go to church. We would eat Sunday dinner together and he would sleep all afternoon until time to go do chores again. We would go to church at night and then maybe an hour or so hanging out as a family and then bed.
Sundays were the worst. He was exhausted from being at the farm all week and I was totally wiped out from raising 4 kids alone. Then on Sunday when I would have done just about anything to get someone to help so I could take a short nap, I was still taking care of the kids alone.
My kids didn’t nap. They hardly slept at night it felt like. For many years there was at least one or two kids who couldn’t be left alone so I could take a short snooze. I was exhausted for many years.
It was then that I decided that if I ever had daughters-in-law and if they lived nearby I would offer Sunday dinner. That way they would have at least one day to look forward to in order to have a break and little less they had to do.
If I would have known that for one meal a week I could walk in and let my kids loose and eat dinner it would have been heaven.
So, for too many years to count I have been having the pleasure of treating my daughters-in-law to dinner each week. They offer many times to help and I just want them to enjoy. I let them do the clean-up, which is nice. While they clean up I can sit at the table and listen to the guys talking and laughing and run after grandkids when needed.
There have been many side blessings to Sunday dinners together as a family. It keeps us connected. Yes, over the years there have been more than one son working with us. But, it’s so valuable to leave the farm and come together as father and son, brother and brother and family.
Most Sundays everyone is here. There are weeks when one family or another have other plans. Especially in the summer we can have a family or two miss a few weeks, but usually the rest are here.
Sundays are for birthday celebrations. Everyone is busy throughout the week so birthdays are saved for Sundays.
There can be a lot of laughter on Sundays and a lot of raised voices. To say I have 4 passionate sons is putting it quietly.
There was a rough patch we went through as a family. I don’t care how good any family looks on the outside there is always a time when things get sticky and ugly. When we were going through our rough time Sunday dinner was a day that forced (voluntarily – I never expect nor demand anyone to be here) us together. The worst thing to do when having difficulties is to separate and isolate. Sunday dinners we had to be nice – the grandkids were watching and at times my kids knew if I couldn’t have a short period of time where I felt all was right I would have a break down.
We’ve out grown tables over the years. Even now with my dining room table sitting 14 we are still short three places. Fortunately, when we remodeled it was done totally around the kitchen and Sunday dinners.
The dinner is put out buffet style and usually runs the full nine feet of the island. For birthdays, the guest of honor picks the meal and the dessert. The other Sundays I usually decide – sometimes I ask for suggestions and sometimes someone requests.
After dinner the “buffet” island is used for many other activities – making slime, playing games, baking cookies, etc.
I am so grateful and thankful to my kids that they come most weeks. Even my grandkids hang around a while afterwards.
The stories we hear about “remember when . . .” and the comical run in with so and so and “I was so embarrassed when . . .” only come out around the table.
For me, Sunday’s are the beginning of a new week and an ending of the last week.
I would suggest everyone consider a Sunday family dinner – at least now and then. Coming together over food is a form of love like no other.
If you’re ever in our area on Sundays around 1:00, stop in. We’ll squeeze you in somewhere.