Ever since the LM was born, it has been a rare occasion that all of us would eat dinner together as a family, when we are at home. From about the time he started eating table food, I would make the LM dinner around 5:30-6, and either myself or my husband would sit with him while he ate. Typically, after he went to bed around 7- 7:30 pm we would eat our "grown up" dinner together, and pretty much do nothing but revel in the quiet. Right before his fourth birthday, I started to notice that he would eat a little later, and we would eat a little earlier, and he would be open to having some version of the same thing we were, so by chance we were actually having the mystical and elusive family dinner.
Then Gray came along, and the whole thing started over. Recently, due to my husband's inability to sit down because of his pain saga, the boys have started eating dinner on the counter stools while I make our adult meal. Somehow, and without me even knowing, we started having a family dinner.
Okay, so technically we aren't eating dinner together, but because they are facing me while I cook, it feels like we are. On a typical night, I'll be in the kitchen making diner for my husband and I, and they will be eating their dinner at the counter when my husband comes home. Both of us will grab a glass of wine for what I annoyingly call "wine time" (not to be confused with "tea time" which comes around 8:30pm ;)) and we both kind of flank the boys and catch up everyone's day. As soon as the boys are done eating, they move to the living room (a whole 4 feet away) and I switch out their food for ours. One or both will climb back up, sampling what we are having (or in Gray's case eating my dinner as his second meal) and surprisingly, it has been a really nice change of pace.
While this works great in our current space, when I dream of our next home (which in all honesty could happen in the next 5 years- never) the one thing that I know I absolutely want is banquette seating in the kitchen. Sure, the counter stools we have are great while the boys are young, but the truth is they aren't all that comfortable, and no one would ever say, "I'm just going to hang here a little longer because this feels so good." I don't know about your kids, but mine pretty much inhale their food as fast as they can to get back to whatever it is that they were doing before, so what we have works perfectly fine, BUT I have these dreams of teenagers (college students, adults... eek) coming in, throwing down their backpack, kicking off their shoes, and piling in amongst the throw pillows and saying "mom, do you have anything to eat." If the kitchen is the heart of the home, I can't real think of a better way to make it more inviting than with some great, comfortable seating. I have some ideas of how we could make it work in our current home, but trust me, it going to be a long, long time before I start making any changes around here after that last impromptu kitchen renovation.
Until then I'll dream of my banquette, and trust me when I say that in my dreams it looks EXACTLY like the top photograph. I could pretty much stop there, but there is just so much banquette inspiration out there, it seems that whatever your style, there is something that is sure to fit every taste, and every kitchen.
Behold my dream...
... one day.