In a perfect world, the four of us would sit down for dinner together every evening. In the real world, we all make it to the table at the same time once, maybe twice, a week.
The culprits are many...dance, gymnastics, and karate lessons, baseball practices and games, disc golf league, Tom's work schedule, evening meetings, and occasional travel keep at least one of us from joining the rest at the table almost every night of the week. Healthy, homemade meals still find their way into our bellies, but often in shifts - the kids before their activities while Tom is still at work, and then Tom and I after the their (and our) activities, once the kids have succumbed to sleep.
On evenings when Tom works late and I pack the hours between 3pm and 8pm with homework, laundry, errands, PTO meetings, and chauffeuring Hallie and Will to and from lessons and practices, sitting down to dinner together takes a backseat. Staying on top of our workloads, making sure we have clean clothes to wear the next day, getting everyone where they need to be on time, and remembering to bring everyone home at the end of the night trump 30 minutes of rushed togetherness at the table.
I'm not shooting for the stars here, folks. My goal is one additional shared evening meal together every week. I will offer my family more than just sustenance every evening. I will share my stories, and listen - really listen - as they tell theirs. I will hold their hands and say a prayer of thanks, not just for the food we eat, but also for the opportunity to spend time with each whole and present person.