Tuesday, April 16, 2013

family dinner: why today, more than ever

These past 24 hours have shaken me to the core. Again. When 9/11 happened I asked myself if I wanted to bring children into this world we were living in. When Newtown happened, I held my boys closer than ever. And I was scared. I'm still scared. Then the horrible events of yesterday made me question "going back to work", no matter how "part time" I had made my schedule. I asked myself if I was being reckless taking time away from my children... possibly putting myself in a vulnerable position for something as 'silly' as presenting at The Family Dinner Conference in NYC this week. I briefly considered canceling my role as a presenter. I wanted to stay home; to feel safe. Then tonight I read a fellow presenter, Red Round or Green's, post... why something as simple as family dinner is important. I encourage you to read her post. Here is an excerpt:

"...I realize that there is a beautiful secret about the things we can do in our small family ways: They are probably the most important things, the ones that will make the most change of all. When we raise strong, aware, healthy, competent, compassionate, thinking children, when we honor them with the gift of vibrant families and supportive communities, we raise people who are less prone to violence and more prone to peace. When we meet fully the various and vast needs of our children and ourselves, beginning at a basic level with their needs for good food and safe homes and building up to the highest level of meeting their needs for compassion, love, acceptance, enrichment, nurturing, and moral guidance, we raise them to be people who will seek to meet the needs of others, not diminish them... 

There may be many ways to provide all of this to our children and ourselves, but there are few mechanisms that deliver every one of these outcomes all at once, consistently, in the way that a positive Family Dinner routine does. So no matter how humble it seems, no matter how tired we are, no matter how many times we are confronted by others’ perceptions that the pace of modern life has all but obliterated the place of a quaintly old-fashioned notion like sharing a meal around the table each night…I know, and I hope that you all know, how much it actually does matter..."

- Brianne DeRosa, Red, Round or Green 

I will be presenting on Thursday. I'll be surrounded by an absolutely amazing line-up of parents, educators, medical professionals and nutrition experts who believe in the importance of family dinner. I will go in to inspire, and to be inspired. Then I will return home to my family I love so much, and I will relish the happy routine we squeeze into our busy lives; one that I feel fortunate to be a part of today, more than ever.

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