Every Parent Wants a Crowded Table.

It is possibly the best sign of parenting success.


Last month we had a family vacation in Canada which reinforced why I am working harder than ever at the age of sixty. Our extended family of eight adults spent two weeks together and every night we had a very crowded table.


At times, our group swelled to thirteen when various family friends joined us and stayed with us for a few nights. On these special occasions the dinner table was raucous and bursting at the seams – absolute bliss for this proud parent.


“The purpose of life is to experience things for which you will later experience nostalgia.” Morgan Housel


Travelling and vacationing with my adult children and their partners + friends is the greatest privilege I have in life. The fact that they actually want to be there, and they take time out from their busy lives and commitments so we can have shared experiences together is priceless.


However, it takes a lot of planning and preparation to get everyone to the same place on other side of the world at the same time for 14 days. For Maryanne and me the preparation and anticipation of a big family holiday is just as important as actually being there. In the lead up all the meals together, the phone calls and emails discussing the upcoming trip extends and builds on the experience for everyone.


The only downside to such a wonderful family vacation is the slump I experience when I return to reality, which can last for several weeks. The best way for me to get over the post-vacation blues is to start planning the next vacation….


Ryan Holiday in his blog “Daily Dad” (which is recommend reading for every dad) summed up parenting success by using the following beautiful Lyrics from a song by The Highwomen called “Crowded Table”


“If you want a crowded table, you will need to plant the seeds. You will need to make the decisions now, so they will want to make the decision to fly from their homes to yours when they are older and have families of their own. That means listening without judgement. That means being a fan and a supporter. That means loving unconditionally. That means managing your temper. You will need to set the table today to have the one you will want tomorrow.”


Here is a link to the song.


Thanks for reading,

Stay safe and invite people to dinner.




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