And suddenly, I found myself wondering, when was the last time I stood before a crowd, not a stitch of clothing on my body, making bold demands and declarations?

Whoops, sorta started in the middle there, didn’t I?

Our boys almost always finish eating dinner before my wife and I. It can be a struggle some nights to tear them away from their toys or the TV or their beating the crap out of each other just to get them to the table, but we go through with it because my wife and I both work and we’ve got this notion in our heads that it’s good for us to spend time together as a family, especially over food. A shared meal is more than just communal belly-stuffing, you know? So we sit, we eat, we talk, the four of us around the table, the four-legged member of the family circling, waiting, plotting. The four-year-old scarfs down his food, tosses out a few witticisms, tells us how his day went, who he is and isn’t friends with. And when he’s done eating, he’s done sitting, and it’s off to the next thing that he has in store for his evening. And the two-year-old, well, he’s two and the little brother, so when big brother’s done eating, he pretty much is too. So the last half of dinner is often just my wife and I, which is nice. A bit of grown-up time before we kick off the bedtime rituals.

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