In Spanish the expression "La Sobremesa" is theperiod right after a meal when family and friends spend time sharing conversations or anecdotes. Often times folks can spend an easy hour or more talking, laughing and telling stories before someone starts to leave.
This Latin tradition is one I've upheld in my family and it's something I've been thinking quite a bit about over the past 2 weeks. Just the other day my uncle shared with us an audio recording of my grandfather in the garden of his home recalling the oral history of my paternal ancestors and how they came to settle in a small Spanish town. As I sat at the breakfast table playing the recording for my husband and children, all I could do was smile in gratitude. That afternoon left me thinking ....
"La Sobremesa" is time I've intentionally built in over any meal we gather around the table. If it's not possible at dinner, we'll create time at breakfast, lunch, during a snack break or even over coffee - be it at home or at a local cafe. I preserve this time as often as I can during the week because this is when my children and I are organically connecting. We all have the need to belong and what better way to encourage our children's sense of belonging to this unique entity we call " our family" than through the oldest tradition of storytelling.
Today's environment of growing up with texts, posts, likes and one-liner's can easily consume, distract and disconnect our children from their sense of who they are and what grounds them. Not only are my kids learning about all kinds of stories of my husband and I growing up, or of the rich family history their grandparents get to share when they spend time together, but they're also learning the art of conversation and of socializing. Carving out time for your own version of "La Sobremesa" can be a positive and healthy way to speak from the heart as everyone who's gathered together opens their eyes and ears to connecting with one another in fun, entertaining and meaningful ways. When connecting from the heart, the bonding is effortless.
I'd love to hear of your family's "sobremesa" time. Do you do this already? Would you like to give it a try? Drop me a note and enjoy the week ahead.
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