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!)
· 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.