Here we are, back to “A Day in the Life of Crazy Fool: Part 6.” If you missed the earlier parts to this series and would like to read them, look at my sidebar under Tags, and click on “A Day in the Life Series.”
It’s Around 4pm
As the afternoon closes, I’m generally cooking dinner and finishing things up. My husband arrives home around 5pm, and I like the house to be ready for him. I once read somewhere – I think in a Kimberly Hahn book – that if a wife truly loves her husband as Christ, the least thing she could do, would be to greet him when he comes home, at the door. In other words, one must walk over to the door and actually greet him, as you would Christ.
And Now For a Little Harangue
I’ll pause here for a moment. When I read that a few years ago, I was absolutely struck and convicted. For I had been in the habit of not acknowledging my husband – of just continuing whatever I was doing, as if he didn’t matter.
Well, he does matter. I married him after all, and he ought to come before the children and the household chores and all the rest. I can put down the cooking spoon or the baby and walk over to the door, even if I don’t happen to like him at the moment because he was ten minutes late. So what? He is the head of our household, and sometimes, it’s just not about my feelings.
And it’s not always perfect either. Our home is not some Norman Rockwell painting. Yes, babies are sometimes crying and boys are wrestling and girls are whining. Whatever. My husband still ought to come first, and I ought to greet him.
Sometimes this moment can be really fun, by the way. Sometimes I like to surprise him with a martini in hand. I can tell you, when I do something special like that, our evenings are always more fun. For life is worth living, as the Venerable Fulton Sheen reminds us.
So, any of you wives out there, if you don’t already, I want to strongly encourage you to greet your husbands when they arrive home. (Or, if you happen to be a stay-at-home husband, greet your wife when she comes home.)
5:15pm: Dinner Time
After I’ve greeted my husband, we sit down for dinner together as a family. Fortunately, our schedule allows for this to happen almost every single night. If it’s at all possible, I encourage all of you to do the same. No technology allowed at the table, either.
We also prefer to eat dinner a little more formally than the other meals. For example, the children attempt to set the table set properly. You know, with forks on top of a cloth napkin on the left and spoons and knives on the right, etc. And no, this is not always done well, depending on which child is setting… We do have six messy children under the age of 12. But I’ve noticed that manners improve when form improves.
Also, if there is a salad to be served, I generally have that on the plates prior to the Table Prayer, so that we’re not passing around multiple dishes. After the Table Prayer, we sit down and eat the said salad. When everyone is finished with the salad, my husband commences dishing out the main entree. Again, we have the same format, when everyone is finished, and if there happens to be something for dessert, it will be served then, and we enjoy it together. The point is, we attempt to take our time.
By the way, we also strive to uphold two other rules:
- No talking with your mouth full. (I’m especially bad at this one.)
- No using your fingers. Ever. Learn to use your knife to get that food on your fork. (Unless it’s pizza or some other finger food being served.)
Lest this sounds too idyllic, let me remind you, that generally I have a baby or a toddler (or both) crying or throwing food or creating whatever mayhem they might. Well, I’ve just made up my mind not to be deterred. Table manners are worthwhile attempting.