Family Time

Growing up I always knew and understood how important family time is. And that is not just for kids but for everyone involved, it brings all closer together, it helps us understand each other’s needs and dreams. My parents are very good at keeping family time. During the week we had our dinners together and possibly breakfast, but this was not a given since all of us had very different schedules and lives. So Sunday lunch, after church was always set-in-stone family time. No matter what your plans were, no matter how hard your friends would pull you into going with them somewhere else, no matter if you are speaking or not with a member of the family, you had to be there. There was no negotiation out of it, there was no excuse, nothing. For me, this family time was a given.

You would wake up early Sunday morning, take a shower, dress in your best clothes (your “Sunday clothes”), do your hair as neatly as possible. You had to pass mother’s approval before you left the house. My mother is a very mellow person, very kind, always with a soothing word, always trying to mediate between my father’s disciplinary actions and our rebellion; but on Sundays morning everything changed: my mother would become a drill sergeant, my father was finally one of us, we all had to follow her strict instructions. I still remember those beautiful mornings when we would head out to church, the sun just barely up, the crisp air, the quietness of the city that did not stir to life yet and us all looking beautiful. She didn’t really make a big deal if we kids did not stay throughout the service, but everybody had to be home at 12 o’clock sharp to get ready for our Sundays lunch.

That was the most important part of the week. That was the time when we all sat together and discuss the weeks’ events, relax and enjoy good food, good company and, as we grew older, great wine. On Sundays my mother would always cook something extraordinary, or at least it seemed to me extraordinary because of...