The Dinner Hour

As a kid we were encouraged to go outside and play every day after we returned home from a day of school. Most days, except in the dead of winter for about a month, we had at least an hour or two of daylight to play in the yard or with friends in the neighborhood. But at six o’clock, we were all expected to be home, cleaned up, and ready to eat dinner.

Everyone in our upper middle class neighborhood was expected to eat dinner at six o’clock except for my friend, Sandy. That family was headed by an Army General, and he required dinner at five o’clock. I suspect that a good part of that is because he had to start his day earlier than the white collar dads who had 9 to 5 jobs. The military runs on its own time, and the General leads by good example. As an adult in today’s world, I almost never get to eat dinner by six o’clock. Most nights I don’t even get home from work until after six. My dinner has been pushed back to seven o’clock most nights. I wonder if the kids from the ‘hood are finding the same thing happening in their lives, or if they have been able to stick to the six o’clock hour for their dinners now?


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