I was in my local market this morning and I bumped into a sweet young guy, an acquaintance from my daughter’s high school class I hadn’t seen in a while. He asked me if I had finished writing my ‘family meals’ book and I told him that I did. He was very encouraging and asked when it would be published and I let him know I’m still working on those details, but it would be soon! He shared that he still lived with his parents and they still have meals together almost every night, including a Kinect game night/dinner party on Saturdays. He said he thinks he has a new job in the works and will be moving out from from his parent’s home soon, but he’ll miss the family meals together. My immediate reaction was to say, “Family meals are not just for families with children….so no need to let moving out of your parents’ house stop you from having meals every day with someone. Family meals are for everyone!” He looked at me with a tiny bit of a strange look on his face and I wasn’t sure if it was the fact that my comments sounded a bit like an advertisement for my book, or because, my voice filled with excitement, was just a (teensy) bit, well…loud. (Well, knowing me…probaby the latter. LOL) In any event, he said, “Cool, you know, you’re right…I’m going to keep it up” and we waved goodbye. But this conversation left me with the thought that I should be making a point of letting people know that my book is about my concern for every family in our society.
In my book, I write, “In today’s world we acknowledge and celebrate the existence of families who are comprised of a diverse demographic of people, who may be related, or not; who may live together, or are just friends and neighbors. But they are a family by virtue of their commitment to love and care for one another. Shared-meals are for every family.”
I happen to be a heterosexual woman who was married and has children, and I remember in the early 1990’s when I was divorced feeling like certain ‘family’ events might feel off-limits to me. Fortunately, I think attitudes towards all types of equality have been progressing over the years, and all types of ‘families’ exist….and the world is better for it. Certainly any type of ‘family’ is welcome at my dinner table — we all can benefit from shared-meals in our lives.