I made very simple new years resolutions this year. 1 – be better at bookkeeping – check. 2 – get more family time – double check. That’s it.
Just a few years ago, these goals would not have seemed ‘big’ enough for me. But I’ve found that I totally underestimated just how amazing life can be when I make things less complicated. You know – the changes that seem so little that they can’t possibly make a big difference – until you actually do them. And then you feel a little silly and foolish, wondering why you didn’t do this thing long ago.
My resolution to get more family time started to form last December. I was sitting at the kitchen table and an old episode of the iconic ’70’s sitcom All in the Family came on. I’m hearing that opening song and I’m physically still in my kitchen, but in my mind, suddenly I was 7 years old again. I felt like I was sitting in my grandparent’s family room, smelling pipe tobacco and Downy and pot roast cooking in the kitchen. I could hear my grandpa laughing at Archie Bunker, sometimes for all the wrong reasons. I imagined my grandma worrying about not having enough food for us (a trait my mother and I have unfortunately inherited from her). Every Tuesday we went to my grandparent’s house for dinner – and we always watched All in the Family together.
Suddenly I was in tears. Missing my grandparents all over again, even though they have been gone for a very long time. Missing the time my brother and I got with just our mom, because Tuesday was Kiawanis night for my dad. And definitely missing my grandmother’s pot roast recipe, which I have always imitated but never duplicated. 😉 I decided right then and there that I wanted to see my own parents more often. I wanted to make more memories like this one. This memory that swept me 30+ years back in time and made me feel loved, happy, and very full of pot roast.
Enter the 2010 monthly Piersall family dinners.
It’s perfect, because my husband loves to cook and is always looking for an excuse to buy overpriced prime rib. It’s perfect, because my sister in law and I adore each other but never find a way to make time to see each other as much as we want to. And it’s perfect, because it’s only once a month and the two most important rules are:
Houses need not be clean and food must be easy to make
It’s perfect because now we get to celebrate the month’s birthdays on our family dinner nights. It’s perfect because I really love hanging out with my parents. It’s perfect, because my kids are always bugging me to see their cousins. And it’s perfect because last time we were all laughing together watching TV while waiting for dinner to be ready – just like we did when I was 7.
And most of all, it’s perfect because when my kids and niece and nephew are all grown up, they will have so many family dinner memories that their heads and hearts will still be stuffed full of love and happiness.
I’m not sure that Archie Bunker intended it this way, but even that hard old jackass might have liked to know he’s done some good.