It started in college. A group of my friends and I ate dinner regularly in the dining hall together. We called them family dinners. We only lived a few rooms apart, but throughout the day we went our separate ways and had very different schedules so there was lots to share at dinnertime.
It was my friend that came up with it. I think she saw it in a movie. We called it “High/Low/Flavor.” Basically, we went around the table and everyone shared the high part of their day, the low part of their day and their flavor of the day (more on that later). In college our highs were usually something like “My physics teacher was sick today so class was cancelled,” or “I got an A on my paper.” Our lows usually sounded something like “I found out that my exam is actually tomorrow and not next week,” or “I forgot my umbrella and had to walk home from class in the rain.” The flavor of the day was something my friend added later when she felt our usual highs and lows needed to be spiced up. The flavor of the day was supposed to be the most influential person in your day. For example, if your crush finally asked you out on a date, he was your flavor of the day. Or perhaps your parents sent you a care package from home; they would be your co-flavors of the day. Don’t ask me why we called it the flavor of the day. We were in college, it sounded cool at the time and the name stuck.
We did this game every day no matter what. It was our thing. I remember thinking that I hoped to do this with my future family.
Fast-forward ten years. “High/Low/Flavor” is now a dinner tradition that I passed along to my family. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that my children have added a fourth sharing item: the love heart of the day (again with the silly names, I know). The love heart is a person’s favorite material item of the day. In our house the love heart is often Minecraft or an iPad, but I like to think it’s teaching them to be grateful for what they have.
Full disclosure, my kids are eight and six so some nights the game is not taken very seriously. There are a lot of reminders to stay on track with their sharing. Also, most days everyone identifies everyone else at the table as their flavor of the day as to not hurt anyone else’s feelings. Or sometimes siblings are intentionally left out of the flavor of the day list as a direct insult. This is then repaid when the insulted sibling has a turn. So the ritual is not without its faults.
I still love that our family does this. Especially since I work all day and I’m not with my kids; I don’t always know how their days went. I love to hear them share their best parts. Incidentally, the “high” of my day is often that very moment. It’s always amazing to me to listen to them. Sometimes they pick the most random highs and lows. Other times it’s expected. My favorite days are the days they get to their lows and pause for a minute, and then they say, “I don’t have a low. My day was great.”