The Sabbath Meal
There is nothing that surprises me more in life than that I am not the mom I thought I would be. My house doesn’t run the way I imagined. Both my husband and I worked with teenagers before we had kids of our own. I had a pretty good idea of the kind of parent I wanted to be. We have had many amazing mentors including both sets of our parents.
None of my parenting plans involved smart phones, Snap Chat, Netflix, or group messages. Even with a degree in family counseling, I am parenting in uncharted territory.
Me and my ideals. We have had quite the passionate relationship. For the most part, it is over.
I realized I got to pick: my ideals or a relationship with my kids. I could choose to control my kids and get what I wanted or accept that all of us are doing our best. Today my parenting plan is learning how to be there for them when they need me, how they need me, if they need me.
When I started re-reading my beloved Sabbath material, I realized, I may not be able to make dinner for our family every night, I may not even get to see my kids some nights, but I decided to dust off one of my old ideals of a eating together as a family and give it another chance.
Sunday nights are now set aside for a family meal. The first week, I roasted a chicken and served food on real plates with cloth napkins. This Sunday we went out for Mexican food and laughed a lot.
My twenty-year-old self would be proud that I’ve taken a stand and she would also be shocked that I am not taking more control over my kid’s lives. My sixty-year-old self is also proud, smiling, really happy I haven’t let go of everything that 20-year-old dreamed up and, at the same time, thankful I let go of most of my ideals so my arms could be free for the rest of what life is offering.