On Sunday evening, I failed to actually make dinner before it was dinnertime.
Wanting to hold our standing dinner time, I called my boys into the kitchen. As I alfernately cooked dinner and prepped the next day’s lunches, my boys played music and bantered. With each other.
I enjoyed both the food preparation and my boys’ company.
Yesterday evening, I again forgot to make dinner before dinnertime. The same as the evening before, then, I called the boys in to keep me company as I cooked.
For a second evening, my boys bantered to the backdrop of my older son’s music.
They didn’t argue at all.
For thirty minutes.
This evening, I intentionally postponed making dinner.
At dinnertime, I called the boys into the kitchen to join me for dinner prep.
As I cooked, my older son alternately played meme music, Ray Charles songs, and songs remixed to feature the words “emotional damage” on repeat. My younger son engaged with it all and giggled throughout.
I don’t know what’s going on with the kitchen at dinnertime these last few nights.
Is there a magic force field causing my boys to set down their standard dinnertime sparring?
Is it the promise of food to come?
Could it be Mom’s relative calm when engaged in the soothing rhythms of meal-making?
Whatever the cause, I’m delighted to discover
that dinnertime fighting isn’t inevitable;
that I can, indeed, conclude dinnertime calmer than I started it,
if I keep the parts of a tradition that work (here, time and company)
and set aside those that do not (here, our usual placement in physical space).
And to think:
I would never have known any of this, had I not first missed the (dinner) mark–twice in a row!