“All Great Change in America begins at the dinner table,” said Ronald Reagan.
I have often heard that the ties that bind a family get tied at the table, but it takes so much effort to make a dinner with 6 people happen! Though every night would be a perfect frequency of dinners together, too often six conflicting Brady calendars don’t allow for that perfection.
We cherish the memories of dinners we can procure. One such dinner a month ago was worthy of capturing for later smiles.
Before I cite the dinner conversation, I must tell you some background about my husband, Chris. He is a best-selling author, influential and entertaining speaker, has almost 200,000 followers on Twitter, obtained 2 degrees in engineering, raced motocross as a teen and loves sports. He has been my Mr. Wonderful from the beginning, so much that my mother started calling him “MW” early in our dating. His ability to laugh at himself is one of his greatest qualities, and that alone has allowed so many of his fans to relate to him, especially our children. Knowing that Dad whom they have on a pedestal has made mistakes and still turned out ok has encouraged them to persevere. Chris’s description on the back of his book, Rascal – Making a Difference by Becoming an Original Character says, “…He has one of the world’s most unique resumes: including experience with a live bug in his ear, walking through a paned-glass window, chickening out from the high-dive in elementary school, destroying the class ant-farm in third grade, losing a spelling bee on the word “use,” jack-hammering his own foot, and more recently – sinking his snowmobile in a lake.” That background might be helpful for the following Brady dinner conversation:
Nate (12): “My teacher asked if we thought our parents were perfect. I asked him, ‘which one?’”
Nate: “By the way, I got in trouble today in class for talking, and the teacher made me put my name on the board. She said, ‘All right, anyone who was talking, go to the front and put your name on the board. So I did. But I wrote it REALLY neatly, because I knew you would like that, Mom.”
(I laughed that he thought the neatness of his name would make a difference when putting his name on the board for the offense.)
Chris: “Maybe you should have written, ‘your name on the board.’”
(The kids laughed.)
Me: “That’s why Dad spent so much time in the hallway during school.”
Chris: “Yeah, they pretty much moved my desk to the hall.”
Nate: “Maybe I should try to get that to happen to me, so I can be by myself and won’t be distracted.”
Chris: “No, It’s really distracting, because every person that walks by with a bathroom pass looks at you, points at you and laughs at you.”
Christine (9) (innocently):“Why would the teacher put you in the hall, Daddy?”
Chris: “I don’t know! I didn’t do anything wrong. I just made people laugh, that’s all. Oh, and the ant farm shaking incident. I remember that one really well.”
It was Brady story #447, “The Ant Farm Shaking Incident”…the time Chris strangely felt compelled to pick up the class’s ant farm and shake it like mad, causing the teacher to walk on top of desks to close the distance FAST to grab Chris before the ants were dead. The teacher was too late.
James Dobson once said, “Unless you are in regular, meaningful, relatable conversation with your child when he is four, you can’t expect to start any meaningful conversation when he is fourteen.”
May you be blessed with family dinners and stories so familiar they’re numbered; and when your son has to write his name (neatly) on the board, just imagine him telling that story to his own kids one day when they have their dad on a pedestal. Maybe the story will even get numbered.