My friend, Kathleen Caron, is guest posting here today. Please make her feel welcome. It is “Her talking time today.” Kathleen lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Doric and three children, Marie, James and Joe. She writes about food, family and faith at full of life: soul food.
It’s your talking time
Joe has the mixed blessing of being born into a talkative family. We sit down to dinner, and forks have barely touched our food before we’re telling stories about our day and discussing politics. “Did you hear about such-and-such?” someone will ask. “Oh, that reminds me of so-and-so,” someone else will respond. It’s a fast-moving stream, and you just have to jump right in there if you want to get a word in edge-wise.
When Joe was, oh, about four years old, and starting to get the hang of this conversation thing, he got tired of waiting for his turn to say something, and suddenly shouted, “IT’S MY TALKING TIME!” We looked at him in stunned silence and waited to hear what was so vitally important. But he didn’t really have anything to say, he just felt left out of the conversation.
“It’s my talking time!”
It’s a wonderfully assertive statement that our family often quotes, only partly in jest, when someone won’t stop talking. Because, in fact, we all deserve to have our talking time, to say what we need to say. To be heard. To have our jokes laughed at, and our stories sympathized with. To be accepted, and loved.
That’s what dinner time is for—to look around the table at the dear, honest faces of those who love you, to speak your mind without fear that you will be judged and found wanting.
Maybe it’s just small talk: “How was your day?” “This chicken is delicious!” Perhaps it’s a rant, “You won’t believe what happened to me!” or a confession, “I did a really stupid thing today.” It’s your talking time, and you can do with it what you like.
The family dinner table is the safest place in the whole wide world.
You don’t have to pretend. You can come as you are, even in your jammies. You probably don’t have to mind your very best manners. It’s okay to lick your fork if the food is especially good. It’s even okay to laugh with your mouth wide open. Fill your belly with food and fill your soul with love. It’s your talking time.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6
What do you talk about at the dinner table?