Guest Column by Jennifer Underwood
I grew up watching Cheers. I’m not really sure why, since the show went off the air when I was still in high school and the content was not really geared toward kids my age, but my guess is that my parents had it on the television to watch themselves and my brother and I were just unnoticed observers.
It’s the theme song to Cheers that goes through my head when I think of our First Friday Family & Friends Dinners. Of course, I laugh when this happens because a song from a show about people sitting around a bar and drinking is not really what you would think to associate with a monthly activity at your church. But, nevertheless, it’s always there.
While much of the content of Cheers was, I’m sure, beyond my understanding at that stage of my life, I did comprehend a few basic themes. It was a show about people from different walks of life who, at the end of what was typically a hard day, wanted to unwind with people who knew them on a deeper level. They would leave behind their lives in the outside world as a mailman or an accountant with all the concomitant expectations, climb onto an old wooden barstool, and take a breather and unwind in a place “where everybody knows your name.”
And maybe that’s why the song pops into my head when I think of the First Friday Dinners. They are at the end of the week, at the end of a (usually long) day, where people have shed their lives in the outside world, along with their business casual attire, and can gather together with people who share their season of life.
It’s a time when an entire conversation can be held that consists of nothing more than an eyeroll, a sigh and a pointed look in response to the question, “How was your week?” And that’s because they know you, they get you, they’ve been where you are or they are on their way there.
It’s a time when people can relax while gangs of children (all forming lasting bonds of their own) intermittently cascade through the living room, the older ones often carrying the toddlers on their hips. We may not have old wooden barstools, but some of us probably have a similar musty Boston bar smell, or at least our children do. It’s a place you can go, one Friday a month for a few hours “where everybody knows your name”…and your child’s name.
If you have not had the chance, we hope you will join us for the next event, a Halloween party at the Browders’ on October 31st at 6pm, followed by trick-or-treating. If you are new to the church, we would love to get to know you and your family.
Drop me an email if you’d like to know more or have any questions!
Jennifer is the head of our First Friday Families group, directed last summer’s VBS, and is a regular contributor to Houston Mom’s Blog.