Is there anything more fun as a mom of older children than the "first dinner"? Those of you with older children know what I mean -- that first dinner you prepare/share with your child on their visit home after being gone at college or at the place they now reside. And, at least in our family, much thought and deliberation goes into deciding of what exactly that meal will consist.
True to tradition, our youngest daughter came home on Wednesday for a long weekend from college. But, I got the phone call about her "first dinner" the weekend before. She listed four different foods she wanted for her first meal home, and fretted about which one should be her final pick. The meal's main requirement was that it needed to have meat. She eats very little meat at college, and tries to remedy that while visiting at home.
I love the deliberations she was making while talking to me on the phone -- should it be chicken enchiladas, meatloaf with mashed potatoes, sloppy joes, or a taco bar?? Decisions, decisions. The amount of thinking that went into making her choice would serve her well when studying for exams (but I digress, slightly). My job was just to listen to her list the pros and cons of each choice, and then enthusiastically agree with whatever decision she made. After much back and forth, meatloaf and mashed potatoes were declared the winner.
On Wednesday, the actual evening of the dinner, it was wonderful to watch her devour her favorite foods that I had lovingly prepared. However, the real gift of the meal was the conversation that accompanied it. What a gift as a parent to have a child back at the table from which she has been absent too long! My children think the food they choose is the most important part; I know that their presence and their conversation is why I will continue to happily make whatever food they request for their "first dinner".
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