July 26, 2010

Education At The Dinner Table.

My parents are visiting me this week. As my family - near and extended - is spread all over the continent, the moments we get to spend together are few and far between. Thus I cherish every single second when we do.
Their presence bring back sentimental memories of times gone by. It seems like it was only yesterday when I lived at home with them and my sister. But after closer contemplation I realize, I have been living on my own longer then I ever did with my family. Or anyone else for that matter.

I guess I enjoy being alone to a certain extend, but there are times when I miss having a family of my very own. And the good and the bad that comes with it. I yearn for the company of my partner on every day bases and the idea of having children, filling the empty space with laughter and life, giving the future a certain higher purpose.
To this day, what I miss the most about my childhood, my teens and my early adulthood; all spent at home - are dinners and weekend breakfast at our dinner table. The best time of the day on a school night was when my mother would shout "Dinner!" and we would all gather around the table, as the evening settled over the city. We would dine, but always talk as well, discussing everything between haven and earth, while recollecting our day, joking and laughing. Even better were weekend mornings, when we slept in late and had no school or work to go to. Weekend mornings that very soon turned into noons, those magical moments that I never thought I would cherish so one day.

Most of what I needed to know about life, the magic of living and how to handle its ups and downs came from those discussion at the dinner table. All the strenght that I felt I possessed when I set out to conquer the world was born at the gathering at the table with my family; something that seemed so very ordinary then, but came to have a profound impact on my adulthood.

Perhaps just like the ancient or even primitive man, sitting around the campfire, feeling the security and warmth of not just the fire itself, but the connection with the individuals that surrounded it; the best start in life, the most important education in and about life - comes from the family itself.

46 comments:

Susan Deborah said...

A very personal and sentimental post, dear Zuzana. If you miss being with people, I guess you should call your Irishman and make him stay with you permanently. Sometimes togetherness and laughter make life worth living. But again that is one mood. During others one feels like being by oneself and not losing the space and independence.

Cherish the time with your parents and relive happier moments from your childhood days.

Joy to the family,
Susan

Eternally Distracted said...

A beautifully written post with sentiments that I am sure a lot of people will share - me included. I too am soooo happy to be very close to having these experiences for a short while again :)

Elisabeth said...

This is a lovely reflection. It strikes me that some of the best things in life as you describe here can sometimes for others be painful. Did you ever read Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, a novel about a family - with significant problems, needless to say - and the struggle of one of the children as an adult running his own restaurant to arrange a meal that every member of the family manages to sit through from first course till last.

It's wonderful, though when family meals are as pleasurable as those you describe here.

Alesa Warcan said...

A lovely post!
Appreciation of what one has is an excellent way of enjoying life to the utmost. As you well know, judging from your posts. : j

Brian Miller said...

a wonderful post...i agree...there is something about gathering and breaking bread together that brings out the most intimate opportunities for conversation...and a few bizarre ones as well...lol.

Kath said...

Yes, you summed it up, I never appreciated family meal times until I had my own son and now I love it when we all get together.
What a lovely family you have, you all look very happy round the table.

GrandmaK said...

I, too, miss dinner at the dining table with all the banter and conversation we often had. But I, like you, cherish the time we share together, wherever we may eat!!! Time is precious and memories made are real treasures!!! Enjoy this week! Make lots of memories and the display those treasures for us all to see! God Bless! Cathy

Donna said...

What a lovely post, Zuzana. I too enjoyed dinners around the table when I was younger ~ wonderful memories.
Great photo of your family. Have a good week!

Hugs,
Donna

Donna said...

What a lovely post, Zuzana. I too enjoyed dinners around the table when I was younger ~ wonderful memories.
Great photo of your family. Have a good week!

Hugs,
Donna

Snappy Di said...

Such a fabulous photo... really speaks as to 'what family is'.

Di

Jacki said...

Thank you for sharing these intimate thoughts with us. For me, while I absolutely love my family...there are times, once in a while, when I miss being "single" and on my own. Being independent, and not having to worry about taking care of others.

I sometimes wonder where I would be and what I would be doing if I hadn't gotten married and had Emma.

Keith said...

Have a great time. I love being with my family. It's wonderful to be able to get together with my family and spend time with each other. Life is too short so I wanna spend as much time with my loved ones as possible.

steviewren said...

Now that my children are scattered and some are living so far from home, I too think about the days when we were all together. I love the times now when we are together again. For the 2 that live nearby, I cook the meal they choose on their birthday and invite my parents which makes for sweet times together.

Hilary said...

My own parents are long gone, but I cherish the memories of those same times around the table. And I look forward to the rare times that my own boys are together at home. Enjoy your visit.. I know you will. :)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Another beautiful post by expert Zuzana! Hugs.

Blogaire said...

Hope you and your parents have a wonderful time together Zuzana, these are moments to cherish and I am sure you will reminisce about old times and happy memories. Have a great week!
p.s. I am off to Espana tomorrow morning for a week, but I will hopefully keep up with your posts from there.
xx

Claus said...

This one touches my heart deeply. Indeed, family gathered around the table at meals turn out to be the best memories in a lifetime. Fortunately, I still have those! Sometimes my mom and I alone, sometimes with brother/SIL/niece and the family on her side...and each time, it's plenty of fun. Families are so close and tight in Guatemala, I think what many would like to experience at least for a brief period of time - including myself - is life on one's own. I wonder what that would be like, and how long would I manage to be by myself?
The man is a creature of habits, so I suppose we all come to get used to what life sends us. Yet, I think there will always be that need of -at least once in a while- be in the company of dear ones. Enjoy your family Zuzana!! These too count as treasured moments to be warmly remembered in the future.
*hugs*

Claus said...

This one touches my heart deeply. Indeed, family gathered around the table at meals turn out to be the best memories in a lifetime. Fortunately, I still have those! Sometimes my mom and I alone, sometimes with brother/SIL/niece and the family on her side...and each time, it's plenty of fun. Families are so close and tight in Guatemala, I think what many would like to experience at least for a brief period of time - including myself - is life on one's own. I wonder what that would be like, and how long would I manage to be by myself?
The man is a creature of habits, so I suppose we all come to get used to what life sends us. Yet, I think there will always be that need of -at least once in a while- be in the company of dear ones. Enjoy your family Zuzana!! These too count as treasured moments to be warmly remembered in the future.
*hugs*

sprinkles said...

I didn't have a happy childhood but until I read this post, I didn't realize how much I enjoyed dinners growing up. We discussed topics of the world while we ate too. Sadly, once my brother's left, that changed drastically. Dinners were no longer nearly as enjoyable. We still ate together but it was mostly my parents talking about their day with little to no input from me.

sprinkles said...

Almost forgot - I hope you have a wonderful time with your family while they're visiting!

Are you in that family photo? I couldn't pick you out.

Mimi said...

Oh Zuzana, have a wonderful time with your family.
Mine, too, are scattered around, and my parents are long gone,but I usually link up with the siblings during the summer months. That is a treasure.

I have to tell you, though, that your mealtimes were very different from mine- there were always rows at our table, and not much lingering ( i wonder why?)!

SandyCarlson said...

I am not a religious person but a reader. Your post has me thinking of all the times the angels and Jesus himself would heal or guide someone and then tell them to go eat. That is about being a family. That is the lesson. Beautiful post.

Michael Manning said...

My 90 year-young Aunt and I spoke by telephone yesterday and she told me that everyday for her is a miracle at her age. She is a remarkable blessing to me. The one thing that surprises me above all else is realizing how many people care about each of us--including many we don't realize in our day to day moments. We all matter to someone, and judging by the sheer number of replies here, dear friend, you matter to many! lol! :)

吳淑芬吳淑芬 said...
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Mr. Stupid said...

This was beautiful, Zuzana. Those were some really nice memories. I share a few too. Gatherings are always special. Talking, laughing, yelling, it all happens at the Dining Table.
Smiles...

Tony Single said...

Zuzana, I very much crave and need my alone time, but I don't think I could ever truly appreciate it without all those wonderful times that I spend together with family and friends. I find that I need both aloneness and togetherness in my life... without one the other feels lacking. Wonderful, touchingly personal post here. Thank you! :)

Keera Ann Fox said...

My childhood meals, like yours, were at the table with the rest of the family, discussing all sorts of things. To this day, one of the best sounds I know to wake up to, is the the sound of voices and activity coming from the kitchen. That promises both people and food, a lovely way to start the day. :-)

As a single woman, I don't get to wake up to that too often. This year's vacation was a bus tour to France, and having someone to talk to at every meal was wonderful.

Keera Ann Fox said...
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Sumandebray said...

yes.. It is great to have someone who cares. Freinds are fun when we are young and they soon get tangled into the inticracies of their own life one day.... It becomes very lonely after that.
Also one can relive his childhood through his child

NENSA MOON said...

hello Zuzana,
Just found your site from Keith's blog.
Your blog was so beautiful!!
I'm your follower now.

About gathering together with your family around the dinner table.. was realy a great time..
Hope you enjoy the time with your wonderful family!!
Will be back to hear more from you.
take care

nensa

Bachelor said...

Zuzana,
Thanks for this loving heart-felt post. There is nothing better than a family dinner. As I grow older, I find it hard to gather with siblings because everyone is so involved with their immediate families (kids and grandkids,etc). This is somewhat difficult to take because of all the fun-filled memories of us growing up and even enjoying times after leaving home.
Thanks for sharing and bringing back sweet memories of times gone by! :) The Bach

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Zuzana dear,

Thank you for inviting us to your table. I LOVED this. What is better than friends and family sharing a meal and making memories.

Love,

Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green island

LadyCat said...

This was a very warm and sweet post. The photo of your family is so nice. I really like your red table setting with the candle at each place setting. Thanks for sharing your special memories : )

LadyCat said...

This was a very warm and sweet post. The photo of your family is so nice. I really like your red table setting with the candle at each place setting. Thanks for sharing your special memories : )

Jill said...

My children will say all the "talk" at the table gets boring but then they linger and enjoy.
Memories made.
.
Lovely post Zuzana!

Rajesh said...

Great news. Have a good time with your family.

Radka said...

Ahoj Zuzko. Jak pak se máš?? My se máme docela dobře. Počasí je nestálé. Vedra už nejsou. Ale na druhou stranu není teplo na koupání. U vás v Dánsku je určitě lépe. Tvoje rodinná fotka je moc pěkná. Ahoj Radka.

maja miusow said...

I know how it feels to miss being with people, especially with those who U love, I used to life abroad with nearly now friends for few years, and it was so tough sometimes...
so- enjoy every moment with Ur parents, have a wonderful time! x

Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm with you! Family dinners around the table are the best-- always have been, always will be.

Enjoy the time with your folks.

Cheers, jj

蔡苡玄 said...
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Blog Princess G said...

That's a beautiful tribute to your family dinners. I so admire families these days, with all the rushing around, that insist on that time together still. My memories centre on the food... hmmmm. That explains a lot! :)

Calli said...

Greetings Zuzana~ I love this post and the photo speaks volumes. A really great capture of enjoying family and friends. Hope your visit is the best.

Take care~
~Calli

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I love the family photos of you all gathered around the holiday table. Most of us can relate to memories like that. I miss sitting around the large oval, maple table I grew up with. My sister has that table in her home now and I am so glad it has stayed in our family! There are even indentations in it from doing my homework at that table! I even recall getting in trouble for that!lol It also brings to mind the many lovely holiday dinners at my in-laws home, the table set with the most beautiful pinecone bordered dishes. Lovely memories sparked by your beautifully written post! Thanks Suzanna!
V.

Regina said...

Such a wonderful family.
Glad that your parents are always around to be with you.

Zuzana said...

Thank you so much everyone for your lovely words, I am so sorry that I am so late with my responses this time around, but "life" interfered with blogging briefly.
Nevertheless be assured I always read carefully (and appreciate) everything each and everyone of you have to say.;)

Thank you all so much for stopping by - I am so glad you enjoyed my recollection of those precious moments that we spend around the table with our families, whether they are large or small, close or extended.
Your own wonderful recollections warmed my heat; thank you all again for taking the time to share them with me...

xoxo,
Zuzana

Zuzana said...

Oh yes, and to those of you who wondered; I am the strawberry blond one sitting at the right end of the table, second down from the window, leaning my head against my hands.;)