Mum, I’ve got something to tell you...

Last updated: 09/03/2015 11:54 by GrainneMcCool to GrainneMcCool's Blog
Filed under: MummyBloggers
“Mum I’ve got something to tell you,” my eldest son said as we sat down to dinner.
The boy was 19 and had brought his girlfriend of six months to dinner. I had met the girl in question a few times and liked her, but I hadn’t spent any quality time with her, so was looking forward to this opportunity of getting to know her. I had just put the dinner plates on the table when he made this statement and you can imagine where my mind went.
Immediately I began making quick decisions. I wasn’t going to overreact. It would be ok. Myself and my husband would help out. We’d ensure both kids finished college. This baby wouldn’t prevent them finishing their educations. This baby would be a blessing.
My mind came back to earth. It had only been a few seconds, but already I was planning a year from now. ‘Mum, she doesn’t eat potatoes,’ he said next. Everyone else around the table began to convulse with laughter. They all knew what I’d been thinking and enjoyed the reaction.
To many people, the ‘potato’ issue was a relief, but not for me. I dreaded being given potatoes when I was younger as I despised them. Now here I was giving this young girl food she didn’t like. My eldest son knew I’d feel this way, but he’d forgotten to tell me prior to dinner. (Well I think he forgot. Maybe this ploy was all a plan!). Either way it set the scene for great conversation and that’s what the dinner table is all about.
When I heard my friend tell her little ones just the other day to ‘eat your dinner and be quiet,’ my heart really did collapse. These are words which should never be spoken at the table. I can completely understand the chore it is to cook for a family. I was/am not the domestic goddess some mothers are, but meal times are an exceptionally important part of our daily lives. And these times are not just for eating!
I found that sitting around the family table each evening was the one time we gathered together and talked. Dinner was never rushed as so much talking was done. I heard good stories and bad stories about school. I heard stories about rows, and stories about laughter. They all came out at the dinner table.
Now as I sit down to dinner, it is often just myself, my husband and our youngest son. Most days there are two empty seats. This is not a sad sight but at times it does bring a tear to my eye. It’s simply showcasing that life has moved on and my children are growing and leaving the homestead. It’s a sign that I have done my job and I hope I’ve done it well.
But I still recall those happy days as we all sat around that table and talked, laughed and at times, cried. It’s all part of the family togetherness. I hope that I’ve now instilled in my boys the importance of the dinner table and the values it has to offer the family unit.
So, tonight as you sit down to eat dinner, gather the family together and have some fun. The crumbs can be cleared up tomorrow.
Grainne McCool is a mum to three boys from Co. Donegal, who thinks parenting is a learning process in which you're never done learning.
Image via Pinterest
Déanta in Éirinn - Sheology