I couldn't be a bigger believer in family dinners, and as the kids get older we are finding ourselves eating at odd times but doing whatever it takes to all sit around a table at dinnertime.
Last night, I had a little melt-down over my to do list and lack of a clear vision of Brad's schedule for the week. Brad announced I needed a mama time out and that we were going out to dinner. I did. I spent thirty minutes alone in our room and was a much more pleasant human being as we figured out our schedule for the week and then went for Mexican after we picked Issa up from dance.
And then the magic happened. Somewhere between the queso and quesadillas, I found us having a real conversation about how doing the right thing is sometimes hard. The kids shared their school stories; Brad and I shared our school stories from years ago that had echos of today. We made coping plans and practiced conversation. (I'm a huge believer in giving the kids actual words they can use.) We made up ridiculous scenarios that made us dissolve into giggles--and I'm praying the kids don't actually use those at school. It was real conversation, and I'm pretty much convinced it wouldn't have happened if we weren't sitting at the dinner table.
So I'm putting it in writing. Whatever it takes for as long as I can, we will all sit around the table for dinner as often as humanly possible. We'll make the magic happen.