To most people sit down family dinners is the norm. To my brother & I it’s something quite new, awkward, yet exciting.
Growing up it was rarely done, don’t get me wrong we did sit down occasionally, even at a table but it never felt like a family meal.. You know where you all sit chatting pleasantly, passing things around to each other, laughing and joking. Instead it was generally quite stressful and awkward.
My brother had a few more sit down meals than me growing up, whilst in children’s homes he says it was fun chatting to the other kids but not the same as a family dinner, in foster homes it was awkward sitting with a family he barely knew so he wasn’t keen on them and like me struggled with eating in other peoples homes in general.
So of course we HAVE to change that and with the Mr always happy to play chef we worked out the Sunday between our pay day and Alex’s pay day was the perfect day to turn into our family day. We started the weekend before last with a lovely beef roast as my brother hadn’t had a proper roast in over 5 YEARS! I know right, how disgusting is that!? Well that was quickly changed and we had an absolutely amazing day!
With Alex around to keep the girls occupied it was much easier for the Mr and I to get on with bits in the kitchen & having a quick tidy up so it was also lovely for us that it was less stressful. We all worked together getting everything ready to sit down as we have no dinner table so instead we use the girls small tables & Alex decided he was more comfortable eating at the Mr’s desk.
Normally Alex is as awkward as I was a few years ago when it comes to eating around others but this time he was really relaxed, stopping every now & then to have a chat and it was just a lovely day & meal all round. My brother was really grateful which was lovely but sad at the same time.. I felt guilty thinking how many of his favourite meals he hasn’t had since I last cooked them when he was around 6/7.
After chatting to Alex this Thursday and finding out how much our family dinner day had meant to him and how comfortable he really felt, I couldn’t wait for today! Hearing how it gave him a sense of normality & being part of a family rather than an outsider looking in honestly nearly had me in tears, I had to keep tidying to hide them.
I’m calling him at 10.30am to make sure he’s awake and then once he’s ready the girls are going to come with me to meet him at the bus station. We are having Chicken Tikka Masala tonight and will be working through all his favourites letting Alex pick what he wants each time. It’s definitely something we will be continuing so I need to really get a wiggle on finding a decent table with 5/6 chairs so we can really do it properly!
Do you have sit down family meals? Is it something you all enjoy? Who decides what your eating? Also.. Any budget table and chair recommendations?