Dinner Time Without Footmen

A Rare Jewel: Eating Together

The past two Sunday evenings, we have seen the miracle of the entire family sitting at the table to eat dinner together. It’s something that practically never happens here, not because we don’t believe in family meals together or because we don’t eat home-cooked food. We are believers in dinner-table culture. We do cook at home.

The rare tableau of my family sitting down to eat together has more to do with everybody’s food aversions and their dislike of being in close proximity to their brothers. Two of my children might enjoy family dinners better if our dining room looked like a diner, with everybody sitting at his own booth, eating his own plate of French fries.

But we have just one table, and for Sunday dinner we’d rather eat beef roast and mashed potatoes.

The Rest of It

It hasn’t been all potatoes and gravy. Jack continues down his backwards behavior slide. Today he tried to throw the iPad off the deck; when Jeff stopped him, Jack attacked Charlie.

Jack is speaking more, which is marvelous and wonderful. He is also restless, aggressive, and destructive.

School days go well, at least most of the time. Jack has a teacher and two classroom aides, a bus driver and bus aide, an occupational therapy team, the speech and language pathologist, and an adaptive PE teacher all working together to help him make progress. Saturdays and Sundays and weekday evenings though, I am the team. Jeff and Henry help whenever they are around.

I wouldn’t mind if I had a team of helpers waiting below stairs to pick up the slack when Jack needs more sensory input or more one-on-one time than I am able to give. If this were Downton Abbey, I would simply ring the bell and summon the staff.

It’s not.

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