Every Sunday night we eat out at a local RI restaurant called Chelo’s. It’s “our” place. It’s “our” Cheers. It’s the place we enjoy the best as a family. It’s easy. It’s doable. It’s affordable. And – yes, its REALLY, REALLY good. Funny enough, my first job was at Chelo’s as a hostess and then a food runner. I was in high school and it was extra cash, so it worked perfect for me. I also realized VERY early on that I would be a horrible waitress, so I stuck to seating people and (as much as I didn’t love it) delivering the food. I didn’t work at the Chelo’s location that we go to every Sunday night, but still… there’s something special about going to a restaurant that has been around for awhile. Chelo’s is a staple and tradition in Rhode Island and I love that I’m somewhat part of that tradition.
OK, back to Sunday dinners.
I’m a big proponent of eating dinner together. I love sitting with my kids and my husband, dishing on the day and really getting to be together. When we’re at home, ZERO technology at the table. When we’re out, I allow technology until the food comes. I want eyeballs and ears, that’s what I tell my kids. This also goes the grown-ups, too. I put my phone away and so does my husband. Dinner is all about family. That’s it.
But Sunday, Sunday has become my new favorite night of the week. First up, I don’t have to cook – which is always a bonus! Second, kids eat 1/2 price at Chelo’s on Sunday nights, so it’s an extra bonus for us (especially with 5 kids!). Third, there’s something really wonderful about going to a restaurant where they know you, your kids and always are so kind. And last – the most important – it’s just incredible to be out and together. I love sitting with my kids and listening to their conversations. They’re funny and witty and adorable. I love sitting with my husband and catching up on the week. There aren’t any distractions when we’re out. It’s just us, just our family. And I love my daughter getting cozy with me on the seat, she ALWAYS wants to sit on my lap (which I love!). It’s just a fun and good time.
This past week my parents joined us. Even though my parents live in Rhode Island, we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like to. Our lives are so busy with work and the kids and school and just everything, so seeing them… it really is a BIG treat!
Sunday dinner was always important to my parents when I was growing up and it made me realize this past weekend that I’m JUST LIKE them with my own kids. My parents would always go somewhere on a Sunday night. One night pizza. One night burgers. One night pasta. Regardless of where we went, I know why they did it. It was FAMILY time together. It was being together and laughing and talking and goofing around. It was playing card games (no cells back then!). It was drawing on menus and playing tic tac toe. It was playing a fun trivia game with everyone… we would all ask questions and whomever had the most right, won! This is what I’m doing with my kids and it wasn’t until my parents brought it to my attention did I realize that history is repeating itself.
I loved seeing my mom and dad with my kids. Enjoying and really taking it this special night. My kids were thrilled to have them with us for the night! My father showed the boys some new card tricks (they’re OBSESSED with card games right now). My daughter showed my mother some drawings. Victoria also only wanted grandma to take her to the bathroom. It was just a real fun, easy, relaxing night at Chelo’s.
I know Sunday night is supposed to be a night where you’re not excited about getting back to the work week.
But for me, honestly… it’s become the night I look forward to the most.
Sunday dinners, a tradition I want to keep going and going and going.