Do your part to celebrate family month

Gov. Sonny Perdue has designated November as "Family Month" in Georgia, although perhaps you've been too distracted by the drought to notice.

That's understandable. If we don't get some rain soon, the governor may be designating December as "Family Shower Together Month."

Meanwhile, let's take advantage of this opportunity to wrest our thoughts away from our water problems and focus on the more uplifting and life-enriching aspects of home and family life. At the very least, maybe we can stop arguing now over who forgot to flush.

In his proclamation, which you can read at www.gov.state.ga.us, Gov. Perdue calls the family "the fundamental unit of society." "Strong families," he says, "teach children to live moral lives."

Interestingly, our state's Family Month proclamation is very similar to Florida's, except that our neighbors to the south word theirs a little differently. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's version states that strong families teach children "not to hog all the water and not to run out on the football field after their team scores a touchdown."

Anyway, if you want to join other Georgians in celebrating Family Month, along with, oh, I don't know, maybe your family, here are some ideas.

First, eat meals together. And by "together" I don't mean at different ends of the same food court. I'm talking about eating at the same time and in the same general location, such as your kitchen table.

I understand how hectic everyone's schedule can get and that it can be difficult at times to remember we share DNA, much less to share an entire meal. But try sitting down this week to three or four family dinner.

As Lauren R. Duran of Columbia University puts it, "What your kids really want at the dinner table is you" - preferably, I've found, roasted and spitted.

Another way to celebrate Family Month is to come up with a family service project. Ideally, this will be some activity that uplifts the downtrodden in our community, such as gathering clothes for homeless shelters, staging a canned food drive or attending a Falcons home game.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, people can also celebrate Family Month by visiting their extended families, which is especially enjoyable if you don't have to bring the turkey.

And if you're not fortunate enough to live near extended family, or if you're still on the outs over that whole forgetting-to-flush thing, you can always invite the neighbors over. Just make sure they bring the turkey.

The important thing is that you take some time out this month to spend with your family. Consider it an investment that, in the long run, will pay great dividends. As a wise man once said, "The greatest work you ever do will be within the walls of your own home."

And he wasn't talking about showering together.

E-mail Rob Jenkins at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com.