wishing and hoping

If I had a magic wand and could instantly just -- poof! -- change something in our lives it would be dinnertime. Or, specifically, the logistics of ours. Before Ethan was born, one of the things I was most looking forward to were family dinners. Sitting down at the table and being able to catch up on our days over dinner always seemed like an essential part of what I dreamed our days would be like. Growing up with a mom who stayed home and a dad who mostly worked at home, except for when he was traveling, we always had family dinners. And there was always that sort of importance about them and getting that uninterrupted family time where nothing else was going on and nothing else mattered. I probably romanticize the family dinner too much, but it's been two and a half years since Ethan was born and every single night we don't have one it still pangs at my heart a little bit.

Dinnertime is always something shared between just Ethan and myself. I cherish this time together, of course, but we spend the entirety of our days together and this brief period of downtime always makes me feel like something is missing. Because it is. We sit at a table crowded with art projects and books and paint pushed to the side, room enough for the two of us to sit and eat together. My husband typically gets home seconds before Ethan is in bed. If it's our lucky day, he gets home early enough to give him a bath and then put him to bed, though this is usually hit or miss. Because of that, it's always hard to stabilize a good routine. Of course, my husband and Ethan enjoy their bonding time together in that bathtime, bedtime routine but then, you know, just like that it's me throwing Ethan in the tub because daddy is working late. And late can be a toss up between Ethan seeing him before bed or seeing him in the morning before he shuffles out to work again.

Some people don't have their husbands home at all. Some people have husbands who travel, who deploy to far away places, who miss holidays and birthdays and things likely far more important than dinnertime. But on nights like tonight where I tuck Ethan all cozy in his bed, hear the garage door open and let him run out to greet daddy before turning around and walking back into bed, I get all sad about it. And I wish for some semblance of routine, something predictable in how our evenings will go, something other than a text from my husband letting me know when he's able to leave work. Last night, it was nearly past my bedtime, let alone Ethan's. Today, my husband ate his reheated dinner on the couch after Ethan had gone to bed. It sounds silly, maybe, but the idea of having dinner together as a family at the end of the day seems the closest thing to magic that I can imagine exists in this world. For Ethan to be able to tell his daddy what he did today instead of me recapping it for him later on. For that downtime as the crazy afternoon turns into a laid back evening to be shared together as a family, catching up, exploring what our days were like. Yeah, I think I would take it over the promise of winning the lottery or a bigger house with room enough for all of Ethan's art projects and supplies or anything else that I half-jokingly wish for in conversation on a regular basis.

But, you know, maybe one day.


  1. I know that feeling all too well. James has worked night shifts for as long as I can remember, and for years he would come home when the kids and I were already asleep. We never got to have family meals together as a family, which James and I have always looked forward to ourselves. I'm sure eventually it will get better. Will his job always require him to work late, or is there a chance he can get a more favorable schedule in the future?

    We got lucky this past year that James' schedule changed so he works during the day now, so he's actually home for dinner every night. Except, now two of the chairs at our kitchen table are broken so at the moment we can't eat at the table together as a family until we get new ones. >:(

  2. Jamie@HandlingWGraceJanuary 4, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Family dinner was important to us growing up too. I need to get better about doing dinners at the table since I am able to. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. I'm so sorry this hurts you! It is perfectly normal to want something as simple as family time and to be sad that your child doesn't have something you feel is important. I'm an only parent now and my heart constantly breaks for all the "family" things I wish he had. I just try to stay positive and be grateful for the time we have together. It isn't perfect, but no one's life is. I hope it gets better for you!

  4. Lindsay @ youaretheroots.comJanuary 4, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Thank you for your kind words! I agree, ensuring you take the time to try to stay positive and grateful for what you DO have is definitely important. For the most part I'm okay at that, but every once in a while it just weighs me down! <3

  5. Lindsay @ youaretheroots.comJanuary 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM


  6. Lindsay @ youaretheroots.comJanuary 4, 2014 at 8:00 PM

    The annoying (read: stupidly frustrating) part of his job is there really are no set schedules, or hours. They go in at 9, and depending on the workload assigned, come home at varying times. Sometimes (like right now) this means 6 days a week and working until 7 on Saturdays, too. It varies department by department, time of the year by time of the year, and that's frustrating because it's even harder to find clarity or some silver lining. Hopefully, though, one day things will stabilize a little bit. (We hope.)

    Aw, man! It's always something. We just broke one of our kitchen chairs somehow, too.

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