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I believe in family dinners No matter what the day is what is being served where you are or what time it is family dinners are a key ingredient to family connections and strong relationshipsEver since I can remember my family has always made an effort to eat dinner together every night While gathered around that table we share details about our day we discuss issues we are dealing with and plans we have for the upcoming days we laugh cry argue and tease The multitudes of conversations that come up during dinnertime are thought provoking and relieving The houses we have lived in have changed the kitchens have changed and even the tableware has changed What has never changed are the relationships that have been built around the dinner tableI never truly realized how important eating dinner as a family was until I had to go a year without it When I was in fifth grade my father left for a yearlong deployment in Quatar The moment I found out he was leaving I was at the dinner table I looked across the table at him as he said Im going to have do my own laundry for a year I sat there telling myself that a year was no big deal He would be back before I knew it That was the longest year of my life I came home from school day after day and set three placemats on the table- one for me one for my mom and one for my brother The fourth placemat remained in the drawer untouched collecting dust The conversations at dinner that year were empty and not connecting The three of us shared interesting things about our day and talked about important events going on but there was an unbearable silence and a spot at the table that was not supposed to be deserted I began to separate myself from my family and started to look
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