Its been a long running joke that as a kid Sara couldn’t play on Sunday mornings until after church. And during the week, Sara always had to be home for dinner. As a kid this rule bugged me. Why can’t I play with my friends before lunch on Sunday? Why do I have to stop playing with my friends just to come home for dinner? My parents were the worst. So strict.
My mom made a delicious meal every night and forced me to eat it. AND drink all my milk. During these forced family functions my dad would ask my brother and I about our school day. We had to tell him something new we learned. They were the worst. So strict! Or my dad would ask if we did something nice for another child. My brother and I felt a sense of pride when we could answer this question. Dad would go on to ask about our grades and if we were proud of the effort we put forth that day. Joey and I would play along and tell our parents all about our day. Conversation would flow into sports and the next upcoming practice or game. My dad would promise he would be there, and he always was. So was my mom. So was my brother, and I at his events. My parents made sure we were a family that supported one another. And that all started at the dinner table, together.
Once we were all gathered at the dinner table, my strict parents began the meal with Grace. We would mumble Bless us or Lord and these thy gifts…. and thus began the nightly ritual. We were raise Catholic. Catholics say Grace before dinner and Catholics go to Mass on Sunday, every Sunday – even when a rebellious teenager stays out way too late for all the wrong reasons. I did not completely understand this as a kid. But today as I stood in church, swaying from side to side with Noah in my arms, I think I began to understand a little bit more. I turned to my dad, who was swaying from side to side with Aidan in his arms, and I said a silent prayer of thanks. Thank you. Thank you for every meeting my Dad cut short so he could make it home for family dinners. Thank you for my patient mother who cooked for her family, even after a long day of work. Thank you for Sunday morning mass. Thank you for my family. I am one lucky girl. My parents are the best!