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Ready, Set, Eat!

Santa Maria wants to spend time with her folks, so I drove her and the kids to her parents' house, in central Pennsylvania, on Saturday. I have work I need to do in New York City, so I returned this evening by bus. As a consequence, I spent more time on Route 80 this weekend than I did in the kitchen. Trust me, the kitchen is a much better place to be.

Being with family got me to thinking. Lately, I’ve been trying to get everyone—all the kids, her, and myself—to sit and wait for everyone else to get to the table before eating. It’s something that’s important to me. A lot of work (cough, cough, ahem) goes into many of our meals, and I want to create a moment in which everyone enjoys them. Too often, the kids are hungry and they start eating, then Santa Maria will get up to check her phone, or I’ll go get my iPod for a Twitter update, and suddenly, the meal is over.

Before I left to come home this afternoon, Santa Maria said something to me that warmed my heart. “I like how you get the table set and how you get everyone to wait for everyone else before eating,” she said while we were taking a brief walk. I’m glad she gets it. Time is passing very quickly, and it’s good to make the most of every second. How do you get the meal started in your house? And any tips for keeping it going?

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