Revisiting the joys of family
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 06/04/2022 (425 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Family. It may not be a positive word for everyone, but it is for me. Today, I am especially grateful my kids were able to visit their grandparents at spring break.
Why is family important? What is so meaningful about spending time together?
Family is about shared history. Memories made together, in the best of times and the worst of times. There’s something special about saying, “Remember when?”
Family is about belonging and roots. A place to launch from and a place to come back to. A place where I am welcome and cared for.
Family time involves eating together. There are certain meals that become traditional. Every time we share those meals, our bond grows stronger (and our bellies get very full, because there’s always more food and much encouragement to eat it).
Family time means listening to Grandpa’s stories and answering Grandma’s questions about life. It means playing games and having deep philosophical conversations, maybe even at the same time, but probably not, because winning takes concentration.
Having a family to belong to is something we all long for.
We are learning as a family how to open up our own table to others who need family — a place where they can eat, laugh, hear stories, answer questions about their life, and play a game or two. As a mom, I used to be very protective of our own family time but now I see the incredible value in my kids experiencing the richness of having others join us, as well as the blessing it brings to our guests.
I have also been on the receiving end of this kind of hospitality. I recently had the privilege of being invited to participate in the special family celebrations of our neighbours. What an honour and a joy to be treated like one of the family!
What if our neighbourhoods became more like family? Not the squabbling kind, but the accepting and caring variety, where people are invited in for a meal or a games night. Or a barbecue on the back deck (when the snow finally goes). My neighbours and I were chatting together one day and wondered — should we have a potluck soon? I’m still wondering…(sigh) why do we get so busy with our own lives?
Winter snow is on its way out. Let’s shake off our hibernation-tendencies and get ourselves into each others’ lives. Let’s value our own families and be family for others. And let’s do what families do best: eat together, tell stories, ask questions, and play games. All the while building memories and a sense of belonging.
Springfield North community correspondent
Sonya Braun is a community correspondent for Springfield North.