Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to School, Back to the Table

Rosh Hashanah Round Challah
Today's our family's first "real" back to school day and our first full week of routines, homework and afterschool classes are ahead. The first official day of school was Wednesday, but that was almost like an orientation day. Several days off for the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah seriously challenged the momentum of starting school. Though celebrating the new year, with the required apples, challah, and honey, seemed especially appropriate on Wednesday night, the four-day break from school makes today feels like the first time all over again.

The slight chill in the air also hints that summer is really over. We did eat dinner together over the summer, but things were much more relaxed. The norm was eating late or eating very light meals because the older kids were away at camp or with friends. There were many days when less than the five of us were at the dinner table.

Now it feels like back to business. Dinners every weeknight with the challenge of making enough food for a growing teen and tween who have sports practice 4 out of 5 nights and are seriously hungry. It's like rapid re-entry into the days of balancing work, homework, activities, dinner and getting to bed at a decent time, all with the stress and emotions that school can bring. I'm trying to remember how it is possible to cram all this into the few hours left at the end of the day.

Still, it's an exciting time of new beginnings. On Wednesday night, my kids were all aflutter with stories. They were actually shouting over each other to be heard and to tell their tales. We had to calm it down on several occasions to make sure everyone got their turn. Our youngest speaks very slowly and deliberately to be understood, and the older ones could barely mask their frustration as we let her have the floor. This is really what family dinner is about. The give and take and the chance to share the day: to be proud, to pose questions, to listen to others, to give and get feedback on these new experiences, knowing you have this touchstone at home.

La Shana Tova and Happy New Year! To great school years, to great dinners, to great accomplishments for all! Love, peace and happiness above all!

1 comment:

  1. it is like throwing the dumpling into the boiling water... back into the 5-weeknights, and all the satellites in motion! it is great to hear that everyone has enthusiastic stories to share... what a luscious time of life!

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