On Sundays, I always had the weirdest seat at the table.
One of the most vivid memories I have of my childhood in Miami is Sunday supper. We always ate outside when we could - which was most of the time. Our patio furniture had five outdoor seats, but we were a family of six so finding a creative sixth chair was always a part of the ritual. Being one of the smallest and bendiest (lotus pose is my default) I usually got the weird seat. It’s a strange thing to remember - but hey - the odd things stick. We pre-empted most Sunday suppers in the pool morphing ourselves into sun-drenched raisins and we almost always came to the table in towels. Besides the weird seating what I really remember is that we shared this time together every Sunday.
No calendar synchs.
Our mom was the master of infusing avocados and mangos into everything because we had enormous, prolific fruit trees. Our dad was the grill master and his specialty was burgers. I would give anything on this planet to enjoy a very well-done Capt. Jack burger again.
As a cornerstone of my childhood memories, Sunday supper was warm and comforting and fun. It was simply routine and simply not something that had to be planned for.
This throw back needs to make a come back.
These days I must confess - traditional Sunday suppers are just a memory, not my reality. Even though I can blame it on schedules or picky eaters, I know the real reasons - priorities and distractions. I haven’t made it a priority. I haven’t protected our precious time from distractions. That stops now.
Fun fact: January is National Sunday Supper Month. I didn’t even realize this was a thing, but yay - it is!! Today I learned that eight years ago, an amazing foodie named Isabel Laessig and a group of her food blogger friends launched the Sunday Supper Movement. Today there is a huge community dedicated to growing that movement. (You can even go take the pldege here!)
Their mission? “Bring back Sunday Supper around the family table in every home.” This is definitely my kind of movement ya’ll and Dwelling Boxes are going to be a part of it in our house.
Since launching Dwelling Boxes we’ve heard more often then not, weekly family dinners are the perfect time to share Dwelling Boxes with each other. Why not make it on Sunday? It’s a great way to end the week on a positive note and inspire the next one :)
Here’s my personal three step plan to rekindle this much needed family tradition and use our personal set of Dwelling Boxes to make the most of our Sunday nights together:
You guys it's three steps. We got this.
Step One: Create Accountability - Monday through Saturday, We’re keeping the Dwelling Boxes on the kitchen counter with individual note pages initialed to remind ourselves to contribute.
- Step Two: Sharing Positivity - We’re going to read the positive notes to each other and celebrate what we’re grateful for, why we’re grateful for it and how we plan to focus more attention on it.
- Step Three: Letting Go - We’re going to physically let go of the negative stuff by placing the notes in the negative box and we’ll use that time (if it’s needed) to communicate how we can help each other overcome the negatives together.
The world could use Sunday Suppers Right Now.
I know it’s not just me. My friends and I wine about these things. We’re parenting in an era of constantly depressing headlines, distorted social media influence, and seemingly insurmountable global issues. Overwhelmed is the new normal. Meanwhile, our kids are living through a more intense version of the regular adolescence. It’s like an after-school special that is always rated mature with parental discretion strongly advised. From aggressive playground politics to virtual peer pressure and hormones on blast - they are living all of it. I apologize in advance for taking a dark turn out of nowhere, but it’s not in our heads. Research is putting on spotlight on reality - Gen Z is now considered the “loneliest generation” and youth suicide rates are disturbingly high.
Throws hands up, uncorks bottle of red and just survives. Totally understandable reaction. But...
As parents we instinctively know that’s not going to answer anything. We signed up for the bigger job; instill hope, lead by example and inspire our kids to confidently be a part of the positive change we all need to see. For me, Dwelling Boxes will be a simple way to show my kids the epic power of small positive routines. We’re putting the phones down, firing up Sunday supper and infusing it with our own family gratitude practice (+ avocados and mangos). Who’s with us?