The breakfast table was set with a platter of French toast, scrambled eggs, grits and bacon. I yelled through the house for anyone within the sound of my voice to come to breakfast. The dog was the first to arrive. However, the call was meant for my teenage sons.
After a few minutes one of my sons straggled to the table with the other one dragging not far behind him. It was a rare occasion that all of us sat at the table to eat at the same time. One is usually working, while the other is at football practice. Other times during breakfast hours one drags himself into the kitchen while the other sleeps through mealtime.
As we ate, the boys began reminiscing about meal time long ago when daddy told them they had to stay at the table until they ate their meal.
“Do you remember Donovan, we used to move the food around on our plate so it looked like we ate some?” Said my younger son.
“Yeah, and I ate my peas like taking a pill. I threw them in my mouth then drank milk, juice, anything to get them down.”
Listening to them converse back and forth was like watching a tennis match. One shared his memory, then the other.
“When daddy told me to get two spoonful of beans, I would get a teaspoon. Then he would grab the big serving spoon and dig down to the bottom of the pot and say ’boy, you need to eat more than that.’”, Joshua said.
“Then, mama would eat some of your food to help you out.”
“I wish we had a dog back then. I would not have had to hide food in a napkin then flush it down the toilet.”
They laughed and reflected on their struggle to eat food they claim they didn’t like. Truth be told they didn’t want any vegetables, no beans, only certain fruits. If ketchup qualifies as a vegetable, then they got a little nourishment in their bodies.
My younger son said this whole experience is probably why he doesn’t like to eat leftovers. I say learn to cook and you whenever and whatever you want.
At the breakfast table that day, I learned that the boys and I need to make an effort to enjoy more meals together. It looks like weekend breakfast is the best time for us to gather.
What lessons have you learned from your child lately?