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Rock Street, San Francisco

Maximina Pabon
Reading writing
This I Believe Essay
Oct, 2017

Family Dinner
I believe in sharing family dinners together. My family had them when I was younger, and it
made us a closer family. Family is very important to me because they are my first and closest friends. They are always there for me when I need them. Family is my blood and a bond that cannot be easily broken.
My father was the person who taught me the importance of family and family dinners. For as long as I can remember, every Sunday night, he would have a Sancocho dinner for the whole family. My five siblings, their spouses and kids would be there, and even neighbors would show up now and then. Everyone would put their busy lives on hold for just one night each week to get together. I looked forward to Sunday nights, not because of the meal, but because we would all be together again. The house would be filled with the aroma of our spanish sason. I could hear the children playing and the adults talking and laughing. Our house was always full of people enjoying each other’s company. Every time my Father would announce, Dinner is ready! there would be a huge pot on top the table to fill our plates. Somehow my Brother would always get a head start every time. He would always have choice seating right in front of the pot of Sancocho, his favorite part of the meal. We thought these dinners were just that, dinners. Little did we realize it was all for the family bonding. Family bonding that goes into sitting down and talking about your day over dinner in the evening. In other words, when you gather your family each night for dinner and discuss the day’s events you are not just talking about your day but you are creating a strong family bond with everyone at the table. I am not sure if it was his intent, but this is the lesson that my father taught me many years ago by simply serving dinner each Sunday night.
My father passed 23 years ago, but I still serv Sancocho dinners at my house for my extended family. I’ll have them to celebrate birthdays, Holidays or for no reason at all. Normally, there are about 7 people or more who come to fill my house and enjoy being with family. As usual most people come early to hang out and just talk and laugh. No one is turned away, even if there are not enough seats at the tables. There is always someplace to enjoy the meal and catch up with everyone. The house still smells like Sason and is filled with laughter and the sounds of children playing, bringing me right back to my youth and those dinners in my parents’ house. Even though it is a dinner, it’s really not about the meal. It’s about the people.
As my family grows and people move away, it becomes harder to get together. Schedules and other commitments prevent us from getting around a table to connect. As hard as we try, it just doesn’t happen all the time or often enough. It is then that I realize how important those times are together. Now that they are older, my kids may not be around every night for dinner but they will be there the next family dinner night to catch up. My kids are learning, just as I did years ago, the importance of family dinners and the bond they help create each time we sit around our dinner table.

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