Every Family Needs a Leader

“In the course of one week back in 2007, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree, got married, and saw my parents and younger siblings move to a new home about 20 minutes north of the college town where I was living. It was a lot of change in a short time period. But looking back, possibly the most important of those three events — though I didn’t realize it at the time — was my extended family’s relocation.

That’s because after my parents’ move, they started hosting family dinners each Sunday night. My wife and I attended these dinners nearly every Sunday for the next five or so years until we moved away for a job. After we left, the weekly gatherings were one of the things we most missed. The dinners also helped establish long-standing family traditions, such as the tendency to debate heated topics or to eat chicken enchilada casserole — at this point probably the quintessential Dalrymple family dish.”