This year Derek and I have been married for 15 years. Wow have we grown. If you know our story then you know that we have been through a lot-yet not near as much as some couples out there. We had five kids in four years, have weathered challenges with our kids, have shared a lot of laughter and tears. I wouldn't change a thing.
For our anniversary this year we decided to go on a trip to St. Louis-just the two of us. We enjoyed a DELICIOUS dinner at Zia's on The Hill. It was so wonderful to sit and enjoy a meal. There was no rushing, no complaining, no let's order the appetizer/salad/meal/and drink right now because we aren't sure how long we can sit here. Derek and I ate slowly. We talked about the taste of the food-and it was incredibly good. I had Chicken Alla Zia. A chicken breast topped with broccoli, prosciutto, mushrooms, and garlic in a light sage/olive oil sauce. Derek had angle hair pasta mixed with chicken breast, red peppers and artichoke hearts. Mine had a bit of spice while his was just plain yummo!! The meal progressed slowly. It was one of the most enjoyable meals we have shared in a long time. We laughed, talked, and sat in very comfortable moments of quiet.
So as I was sitting there enjoying this meal, I started to think about how I don't always enjoy eating. I don't always enjoy the "Story Family Dinner Experience." Here is what I mean-I do a lot of rushing. I make the meal/set the table/get the food out/hope that there is minimal complaining/get drinks/pass plates/say grace/eat....eat.....eat..../try to make meaningful conversation with Daddio and the little peeps and poof the meal is over. When is the last time that we sat and actually talked about what we were eating? How the food tasted? When is the last time we ate slowly? I honestly don't know. Are we listening to each other or are we talking over one another? Wouldn't it be fantastic if we actually treated a regular family dinner like our meal at Zia's? Wouldn't it be a nice reprieve from our busy lives to sit as a family and talk about what we are eating? To talk period. To slowly eat our food and enjoy the eating experience. Enjoy each other. Joyful dining. Eating, in my opinion, is so much more than the food. It encompasses family. It is a moment in time where we sit together. Pray together. Laugh together and listen to each other. Hearts are shared at the table. Dreams and giggles. Jokes and hurts. You are special. We are a family. We are special. This is what we need to get back to. I value this time as a family and realize that perhaps we have let this important part of our day start to slip away.
Yes, it is so much more than throwing food on a plate. I will remember this.