The following is submitted on behalf of Lance Minor, New Canaan Health and Human Services Commissioner
After hearing last month that families across the nation (and here in New Canaan) celebrated “Family Day: A day to eat dinner with your children.” I was reminded of some of my memories of growing up at 360 Pleasant Street, Birmingham, Michigan with my mom, dad, younger brother Bill, Emily, my sister 9 years younger- born on my birthday… Memories of the adventures of life at the dining room table…Dinner every evening at 6:30 sharp…all of us around the table, same seats, a real show of family love and devotion.
Little did I know that those times at the table were not only some of my best times, but also some of the most potent hours spent helping form me as a young man, and then helped form myself and then my children into happier and healthier adults. Last month “Family Day” and the CASA report “The importance of family dinners VIII” confirmed just that…that dinner can be as important to our children’s development as school, work or play.
Those hours spent at the table were a time to be together…to share the news of our day…to laugh together…cry together if that was appropriate to the discussion…especially when our dog “Tobey” had to be put to sleep.
We shared our feelings, our emotions, and our lives with each other.
We learned how to listen, how not to interrupt, how not to be judgmental of one’s opinion, to be respectful, to chew with our mouths closed, to develop good table manners, to learn something new each day.
I learned how to sit still for the dinner hour, and had lots of fun playing our game “Come as you come by” It was a time to all be together as a family.
I am so thankful to my parents for “The dinner hour.” Both of them had parents (my grandparents) who also had “The Dinner Hour.” When I became a husband and a father we continued with my five children… we experienced ”The Dinner Hour,” with the same discipline and traditions as I had growing up.
Many of my most favorite memories…our happiest hours together took place at the family dinner table.
Commissioner Health and Human Services Commission