Memories from the Kitchen

I know, you’re all expecting memories of my mother’s good cooking. Nope. Not even memories of making cookies, which is what the rest of you were thinking. (I’m not a mathematician, so don’t expect my all and rest of you to add up.) Guess again.

My memories from our kitchen are of conversations around the lunch table.

Yes, I remember the other things too, but when I think of the kitchen, I don’t think of what we did, but what we talked about.  Namely, everything under the sun!  I don’t remember how long ago it started, but by the time I was in highschool, we were well into a habit of hour or two-hour lunch conversations.

Typically, we wouldn’t all start eating at the same time.  Usually one of the highschoolers would still be finishing up a chapter or something before coming to lunch.  The conversations would generally start in one of two ways.  One of my siblings or I might simply ask Mom a question about something we were going to do/had read that morning.  Or my mother would ask what school we had left, and the recital of the subjects remaining for the day might spark some question for general discussion.

We talked about everything – stories from Mom’s childhood, the length of time it takes to pay off a mortgage, why other kids don’t act like us, public schools, current events, spiritual concepts, subjects for the next school year, the medicare system and what’s wrong with it, how to prepare for college, and of course, what was for dinner.  Usually, one of the siblings who had started early would get things started, but by the time we left the table, everyone was long finished.

I loved those conversations, even though I sometimes tore myself away before the conversation was finished because I wanted to finish my schoolwork before time to make dinner!  My mother made it a point to discuss things with us that we did and didn’t encounter in our textbooks.   Things we needed to know in order to be well rounded.  Things that we wanted to know.

These days, I am away from home during lunch times except on the weekends, when we don’t often have long conversations.  The conversations still happen, though perhaps their focus has shifted with the changing demographic (two of us are at work right now, and during the school year three siblings are missing from the lunch table).  I hear the discussions don’t get as lively, but I expect that to change as the twins enter highschool.

I think these lunch conversations were an integral part of our homeschooling lifestyle.  What other teacher gets to sit down with her students and talk about anything and everything for however long it takes, whatever day (or everyday) of the week?  I think I learned just as much from those conversations as I learned from any given textbook in school.

When I remember our kitchen in years to come, the strongest impression I will have is of my mother, sitting at the kitchen table or standing at the stove, asking the deep questions that caused us to probe into what we knew or believed about the world or ourselves.

Explore posts in the same categories: Growing Up, Homeschooling, My Family, Parents

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5 Comments on “Memories from the Kitchen”

  1. a.w. marks Says:

    That sounds like a wonderful blessing.

    • Yes, it was a blessing, Anthony. When much is given, however, much is required. It still remains to see what we all do with this blessing!

      • a.w. marks Says:

        Yeah, I suppose that’s true. I think when I hear that parents are willing to have that sort of a relationship with their children, it’s easy to adopt a tinge of regret. I have to remember that God gives grace in different ways to different people, and that the upbringing he allowed for me was sufficient to know Him, if that makes any sense.

        Regardless, I know that I want that for my children, — stories like this stir my heart in an unfamiliar, but desirable way. It pleases me that you don’t take it for granted, but understand what is to be treasured most. 🙂

      • I realize that when I tell stories of my upbringing, some people will feel some regret or disconnect because their stories are different, but you are right, God gives each of us our own story, and He gives us the grace to live within it. Your story is no less beautiful, and I see evidence that He has blessed you in other ways. Ways that He chose not to bless me. And His grace is always sufficient for each of us. What a blessing that is!

        I hope that in telling my story, I have been able to inspire readers who do or do not have similar stories and show them what God can do in a household that is Christ-Centered. We’re no more perfect than other families, but where we got things right, I’d love for others to be able to benefit from our example!

  2. […] not so long ago I wrote about the lunch conversations my siblings and I have so enjoyed?  Well, one of my gifts this year consisted of two letters, […]

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