Sometimes we eat dinner at 9 p.m….because we had a fun day out at the arboretum and came in late, because when we got home the kids ran over to the neighbors to play, because when I was picking basil from the garden to make pesto for dinner we were invited over to the neighbor's backyard for a "play" that the 8 neighborhood kids had created, because after the "play" we stood around talking to our neighbors while the kids played soccer and rode bikes, because it takes a little time to make pesto and boil water for pasta and roast tomatoes and because it's summer and dinner at 9 p.m. is fine.
And sometimes there's a whole other set of reasons, but it's always better to eat dinner late rather than miss out on the spontaneity of life.
This is what I love about summer and what I loved about those years before my kids went to school and what I'll love about homeschooling my kids.
It's ok to have a meal later than "meal time" (not that we have a designated meal time) and it's ok to stop everything and explore something or play longer or do nothing for a while or change gears or sit and watch a cicada make its way across the yard to the tree to latch on and bust out of its shell…we did this earlier in the afternoon before going to the arboretum, which is why we got to the arboretum later than planned and then stayed longer than planned, which in turn, eventually, caused our dinner to be ready at 9 p.m.
I have made parental blunders and had errors in judgment and been inconsistent when I should have been consistent, but I never felt compelled to follow the "parenting rules" set in place by "experts." We have done things our own way from the beginning, forging ahead, doing the best we can with who we are and who our children are.
We aren't always perfect….more like, we aren't ever perfect…but we live and learn and love together and we NEVER stress over what others think of our parenting or how others do things. It matters not.
People have different personalities, schedules, budgets, experiences and backgrounds. We all tick in different ways. So, naturally, that means we will parent differently from each other. We must remember this.
What matters is being respectful of other parents and how they do things and the rules they make for their families and raising your kids with the values and rules and love and experiences that are important to you. So, if this means sometimes dinner is later than usual, whatever usual means, so be it.
Over and out…