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THE POWER OF DINNER TIME Josie Feldman, a rising 11th grader at St. John’s School, says the Covid quarantine brought her family closer together over daily meals.
I have always been close to my family, but it was not until the universe pushed us together that I actually began to realize the importance of our relationship. I cannot recall a time before March of 2020 when my family regularly sat down together for family dinners. Before the pandemic, I remember the chaos that coincided with dinner, as my mom hurriedly prepared a different meal for each member of the family, with barely any time remaining to scarf down the meal she had prepared for herself. We were simply five bodies, sharing a house but living separate lives.
When Covid-19 hit, my older sister was forced to suddenly pack up all of her belongings and return home from college. As we were welcoming her back into the family, we were also, in a sense, pushing my dad away. He was forced to move into the garage apartment, due to my mother’s concerns about the risk he posed to the rest of the family through his work as a doctor. Since my dad was not allowed to enter the house, we began eating dinner together on the patio.
At one dinner, I vividly remember the events that unraveled after we ate. This night was a cold one, and we decided to build a fire outside to keep warm. My sister began by lighting a match and attempting to set the wood on fire, but the flame simply burned out, leaving behind the scent of cedar and hope. My dad and brother soon joined in, but to no avail, with match after match thrown to the floor in an ashy pile of wasted opportunities. After countless attempts, the bright flames finally emerged from what had just been a smoky pile of wood. There it was, waving and dancing in the wind with us, as if it were a proud member of the family.
A sense of accomplishment washed over us, as we witnessed the ways in which a simple meal had brought us together. Through the power of a shared meal, my family grew closer and created countless memories that would burn in our hearts forever.
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