Monday, January 9, 2012

Courses, of Course

One night last semester, our high school-senior daughter, Christina, came home from work a little after 7 and saw that we had set her place—all by itself—at the counter. “You ate without me!” she complained.


Here's the story: Our college-senior son, Samuel, wanted to go visit his girlfriend who was proctoring at the college library. Her shift started at 6 on Monday evenings and he liked to get there as soon as he could after that, but he patiently put up with eating with the family first—or (I hope) he likes the time eating with Mom and Dad. He usually got to the library about 7. But Christina recently started working from 4-7. And she wanted to eat with us, too.

If only all dilemmas were so wonderful!

Jim came up with the solution: courses.

The next Monday, while Samuel was having dinner, Jim and I had a salad and enjoyed visiting with him. As Jim said later, “Well, that was an interesting conversation!”  (And it was!)
Credit: Roboppy
Samuel left the table about 6:45 and Jim and I did some tasks around the house until Christina arrived home when I put the food for the three of us on the table. We ate together, listening to her tell about her day, found out what she wanted for Christmas, and had family devotions before she went off to do homework.

·         Time alone with each one
·         Jim and I eat more salad and aren’t as hungry for the other parts
·         Family dinner! --somewhat redefined.

·         Food has to be something that doesn’t spoil while waiting for the second shift
·         “Evening” gets a very late start

Conclusion: Courses are worth it, of course.


  1. Great idea! I used to do something similar with two toddlers and a father who didn't come home til after 7pm. The three of us would eat around 6pm when they got hungry, but when my husband came home they would eat again with him. At least they finished most of their food that way!

  2. Rachel, I think it would work great with toddlers. They'll get sleepy and cranky if they don't eat on time, but they more than anyone, want to eat with daddy, too. Maybe you got veggies "out of the way" during the first course so they could have fun with daddy? Or just got it mostly eaten when they had two shifts! :-)

  3. I love the alternative you have come up with!

    1. Thanks, Karen. We like it, too. We realize we want to take full advantage of the time we have them at home still! It's going by quickly!



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