Years ago, we established family dinner time. But it’s been hard to work that out lately, because Leah has been working in the evenings for the past several months, and doesn’t always come home after work. Then this week, Hannah started taking one college class in the evenings. Since it’s summer session, this particular class only lasts for two and a half weeks, but in September, she’ll be in school from mid afternoon through evening three days a week. We’re just not all at home at dinnertime anymore.
We’re just about into “the nine days”; a sad point in Jewish history. From sundown tonight until July 27th, we’re not allowed to eat poultry or red meat, except for Shabbos. We wanted to have a meat meal together before that time, to help strengthen our bodies for nine days of semi-fasting.
We decided to have a barbecue for lunch, since we won’t be able to have a family dinner until after dark. It worked out really nicely! We were able to cook together, eat together, and clean up while we’re all fully awake.
Lately, family dinner has been at 8:00 PM or later. There have been times when I think I’m ready to go to sleep, but by the time I’ve finished cleaning up from dinner, I’m too wired to go to bed. If we do the family mealtime at lunch instead, and make supper a less formal meal, I think everything will go a lot smoother. I won’t need to supervise cleanup if everybody’s just having smoothies, salads, or bowls of cereal.
I’m not sure if the “family lunch” will work every single day once school starts, since I’m not entirely sure that Leah and Hannah’s schedules will coordinate. But I think lunchtime is going to work better than dinnertime, and we should be able to manage a nice meal together several times a week.