“We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other.”
I love that! I think it will replace M’s standard, “Bon appetite, you may eat!” As often as I can remember to, we try to say a little “grace,” or take a moment before a meal to slow down, take a deep breath or two, connect and make that transition to meal-time. It’s also something I often recommend to my clients. The day can feel very hectic and taking a moment to pause from the craziness of getting the meal on the table, or rushing in from work helps on many levels.
- centering breath (with my adult clients I also couple this with explicit permission to eat. To eat what tastes good, what appeals and in satisfying amounts) That breath, pause, grace, prayer, whatever it is serves many purposes:
• it helps to calm and center (for many, the table has been a place of guilt, conflict and anxiety. This is a concrete way of changing that.)
• it helps you tune in to hunger and fullness cues
• it helps connect you with yourself or family (holding hands is nice)
• it makes it feel special
• you can instill values, such as gratitude and appreciation for the cook, the farmers etc. if you wish.
• it slows the pace
• if you are in transition from control to a trust model of feeding, this is a very concrete way of signaling to the family that things are different, a way of calling truce if you’ve been used to battling at the table over who is eating what or how much
• can pass on family traditions (grampa’s funny grace?)
• starts the meal with focus and quiet, then you can get down to the business of passing plates and serving little ones who can’t serve themselves
• can transition nicely into conversation, “what was the best part of your day…”
What are your favorite pre-meal sayings or grace? Do you do it, why or why not?