What do all families have in common? Each one is unique, but no matter what makes your family different from the rest, happiness comes when you spend quality time together.
That is a principle Conni Chavez and her four kids know well. In the latest episode of our new series, “Happy Families,” they invite us into the happiest room in their home: the kitchen. Every evening they gather there to make a meal and some memories at the same time.
“It’s kind of like the glue that held everything together,” Conni says of this unexpected family tradition, which began when her kids were little. They wanted to participate in anything their mom was doing. Instead of shooing them away while she worked, she took the chance to teach them new things.
They practiced recipes, from lasagna to guacamole. Of course, there were times when Conni wished she could get the job done alone, but she remembered what mattered most. Ignoring the mess, she enjoyed the precious time with her kids.
“I would often tell myself, ‘This is a practice in patience.’ But I didn’t know what that practice in patience was going to bring to us. It’s something sweeter than I could have ever imagined,” she says.
Cooking together provides opportunities to laugh, joke, and talk openly. Conni notes that her kids express feelings and ideas they might not share with her in any other setting. Not only does she feel closer to them; they also feel a deeper gratitude for her love and care.
“She’s not just my mom,” says her son. “She’s a person that watches over me every single day and thinks about me every single day.”
The Chavez family enjoys other activities too. Jumping on the trampoline, riding bikes, and going to the park are some of their favorites. No matter what they are doing, they know that being together makes it a true treat.
What is your family’s favorite thing to do together? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments.
If you need some ideas, listen to our Mormon Channel Daily episode on quality family time.