In the 1960s, six of us crowded around our kitchen table for our nightly family dinner. As the youngest, I sat plastered against the wall but have come to like those wall seats. Mom cooked well done meat and soft vegetables, which were good until I tasted a rarer version of meat and greens that crunch.
Surrounded by bigger people, I learned to interrupt and speak loudly, two habits I've spent my lifetime trying to break. Talk usually focused around what the older kids were doing or something that didn't concern me, yet I liked being with my family.
I hated the milk Mom forced me to drink and am, no doubt, guilty of not pushing it on my kids. It never occurred to us to complain about the small table, our tiny shared room, or sitting shoulder to shoulder in the Chevrolet. Nor did I notice that my mother used half the required amount of sugar in her chocolate chip cookies. This made the chips especially good when we chewed them while sitting at the kitchen table.