Growing up my father was big on eating dinner together. When we did find time to do it, he always asked that classic question, “How was your day, today?” Our most popular responses were, “Same old, same old,” “Boring,” and “OK.” This never satisfied my father and he would pry until my siblings and I shared at least on unique detail. Back then this question carried the same weight to me as, “What time is it?” I could not understand the tragic significance of the question until years later when I had children of my own.
My father was not merely making conversation when he asked, “How was your day?” He really wanted to know. Our answers gave him a glimpse into his children’s lives. Because, although we slept under the same roof, we lived in different worlds.
I set off for school around 7:30 and got out at three. Then I attended a few school clubs or just hang out until my sports practice began at 4:00. Practice lasted until 5:30, but I never arrived home until around 6:30. Sometimes, we ate a short dinner together, but then I had to rush up stairs and do my homework. I usually finished around 8:30 and then I spent some time watching t.v. or talking on the phone. Around 10:00 p.m. I headed to bed. So during the week days, there was little time for family except those short meals.
The weekends were often worse. I either traveled to sport and club competitions or went to a friend’s house. If I didn’t have a sport competition on Sunday, we’d go to church as a family. The problem was that the moment we arrived, I waved goodbye and headed off to youth group. However, even if we did attend service together, it was not the place to talk.
After church we always ate lunch as a family, but then it was off to prepare for the week and finish my weekend homework. And so I grew up as most children do, having to describe my day because my parents were not apart of it.
That homeschoolers never have to ask “How was your day,” is great blessing. We don’t ask because we already know. We were there – we shared and enjoyed it.
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