I often see posts on social media talking about only having eighteen summers with my kids or the ones that tell me the days are long, but the years are short. These make me laugh because they are true, but also serve as a reminder that memories are being made at every moment.
As a busy family of four, our weeks are filled with work, school, juggling travel schedules, gymnastics, swim team, soccer and playdates. By the time we all make it to the end of the week, life feels like a blur. Tired, hungry and missing each other’s company, we reserve every Friday night for our family to be together. Our kids know this dinner will happen no matter what other things we may have missed out on during the week. There is nothing that can interrupt our night or keep us from being together. No excuses.
Dinner is whatever is left in the fridge. We add a hefty helping of pickles, olives, fruit, veggies, cheese, and crackers. The kids like to add an item of their choice to the spread of food, but the deal is it that it has to be something that requires no more than opening it up and putting it out to be eaten. Everyone appreciates the much-needed break from the rigorous bath time, bedtime and reading schedule that is always hectic. All the rules aren’t thrown out the window, but on this night we all let loose for a little bit of family fun. Our kids count on this time with us.
As we gather around the table, we make time to talk to each other and catch up on the highs and lows of each week. Everyone listens, everyone shares and most of these nights end in an epic dance party accompanied by lots of giggles. We all appreciate and look forward to this special time for so many reasons. We really enjoy each other’s company and learn so much about who our kids are becoming as they share random bits of information with us and each other. Family jokes, funny stories, secret handshakes, and a million other memories are made each and every week on this night.
While my kids are still young we know it is important to make family time a priority. We know life will only get busier as they get older. Setting this precedent now is key. I know they will cherish this time together and count on it as a constant in their lives. I want them to understand our family comes first, always. Making time for each other every week is a gift we give each other. It is important to us and to them.
Give one night a week a try. See what your family thinks about it and work to set your own traditions. You and your kids will look forward to each week. This time together will be a memory everyone will carry with them for years to come.