When I was growing up, my family ate dinner together pretty much every night at one point. After my youngest brother was born and at an age to eat solid foods, that is when my brothers and I started eating at separate tables, separate rooms, and separate times. I was eleven when he was born. During his baby food and bottle period, we (the rest of us) ate together every night. Once he weened off that, our live-in housekeeper/nanny, BL, used to sit down and feed him. And before I knew it, my other brother and I joined their little table and were eating dinner at what became the kiddies table. Our dinner table was a fold up mini table (you know the kind you use for breakfast in bed) and we’d sit on the floor eating while watching TV. It was mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toons most of the time. Or on the days I had it my way, it’d be Full House or something. Yeah, I’d tape record shows I loved and watch them over and over again…on a VCR!!
On holidays and such, we always get together. When I was younger, I used to hate spending time with the family on holidays, but now it’s like one of the rare days that all of us actually have time to see each others’ faces. And often times, it’s not just immediate family members. We get to see relatives too. Our family has grown over the years…..people get married, have kids, grandkids…dogs, etc. And it’s great to get new family members. But if I were to be honest, there is a teeny part of me that misses when it was JUST US (minus everyone that came around over the years).
It is almost nonexistent to have a “JUST US” moment in our family to get together without the presence of everyone’s spouses, kids, etc. I mean, we all love each and every addition to our family, but I can’t help but to miss those “JUST US” moments every once in a while.
It’s funny..recently, the first time in years, my family had a “JUST US” moment, but it seemed unnatural and unfamiliar. It was unplanned and one of those things that just sort of happened. My youngest brother was around and he had just picked up some tacos. Then my parents rolled around and they brought some Soon Tofu. I was there munching on some fruits. And lastly, my middle brother came and he had already eaten but grabbed some ice cream that was in the freezer. For the first time in many years, it was “JUST US”. The five of us were all eating at the dinner table together. But we were all eating different things…lol I thought the symbolism of it all was funny….same dinner table, consuming different things. It’s like our togetherness at the dinner table symbolizes our oneness but each of us eating different things goes to show how separated we are.