Kicking off 2005

I’m back to work today after a week and a half of idling, partying, helping, and wrestling with kids. Kathy and I both got some reading in, caught up with a number of friends with whom we hadn’t spent enough time lately, and generally enjoyed the luxury of ignoring our to-do lists.

One interesting experiment we’ve tried recently is this: when we have family dinners, nobody serves herself, but must instead rely on those around her to fulfill her needs. The idea occurred to me while reading about Benedictine communities in Kathleen Norris’ The Cloister Walk, and has gone over pretty well. (Emily was a bit concerned that Liam would be dishing out her food the first night, as he evidently had a big booger hanging out of his nose at the start of dinner.) It has been an interesting and humbling exercise to have to rely on each other in that way, and a treat for us to see the children willingly meeting each other’s needs instead of thinking only about themselves and what they want.