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#57 Pulling out the phone chord during dinner

PULLING OUT THE TELEPHONE CHORD DURING DINNER – I’m dating myself here. But when I was a kid, we had one of those long telephone chords in the kitchen that could stretch the entire length of the room. If you had one of these phones, it could take you a good few minutes to dial out a number; especially if the person you were calling had eights or nines in their number. I tried to eliminate those friends out of sheer inconvenience. But most of the time, when the phone rang, my sisters and I would make a run for it. Of course we had seen our friends earlier that day at school. But there was never a shortage of things to say where girlfriends were concerned. You could spend hours talking about absolutely nothing and everything that included: what you’re going to wear to school the next day, what the boy you had a crush on said to you that day, how he said it, and what both of you thought he meant. Words were a form of connection, and we could connect all night long – provided homework was done. However, when it was dinner time, no one so much as looked at the phone. When it was dinner time, it was dinner time. Plain and simple. It was time to sit together as a family and spend quality time. If the phone rang, my sisters and I would make eyes at each other. But no one would move a muscle or we would witness the veins in my dad’s forehead pop right out. Just the ringing itself was enough to annoy him. So at some point, he pulled the jack out of the phone so we couldn’t hear it ring. Problem solved.

When he did that everything changed. We were able to sit peacefully at the dinner table and just enjoy each other’s company. Pulling out that chord taught us the importance of dinner time together as a family. It showed us that dinner was the time to connect with one another, to hear about each others days, to tell jokes and laugh, to learn the value of listening while someone else told their story, the value of patience, while waiting to tell yours, to learn appreciation and respect for your mother who made the delicious meal, the value of being present with the people you love the most.

So pull out that phone chord, so to speak. Turn off your cell phones and just be together. It’s the one time a day you all get to connect. And connecting with your family CHANGES EVERYTHING!


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