Most of the time I’m invited to a family game, every ounce of me wants to decline. It’s not that I don’t like games, it’s because my game choices are usually outlawed.
My idea of a game involves square wooden tiles with letters on them rather than zillions of multi-colored square dwarf decorated cardboard pieces that respond when many-sided dice tell them where to move.
And when I play a card game, I pick a deck that has kings, queens, jacks, and aces rather than a Phrexian Hydra or Phrexian Dreadnought Oracle Revert card that yields plus one minus minus six points that add up to 17 hit points subtracted from 15 that you tap and turn when it’s your turn to fight.
But, borrowing a page from Playful Parenting (http://www.amazon.com/Playful-Parenting-Lawrence-J-Cohen/dp/0345442865) has taught me that if I can muster energy (and enthusiasm) to say yes when my kids ask me to play their game, the payback is enormous.
Letting them choose, lets me enter their world of strategy, combat, and, tactics. I get to know who they are. Plus they get to be the teacher. It’s good role reversal. And when I assemble a play that blasts the other team with 12 hit grit points I get to see that look of surprise in my kid’s eyes. Maybe they didn’t know their gun-slinging mom had it in her.
Some might compare this moment to filling a bank account, but I liken it to filling a well. As teenagerdom and other life passages approach and perhaps threaten to dry up communication, my hope is we all can reach down and pull up a memory or moment when we found common ground, and continue communication from there.
What’s your favorite game, and what do you say when someone asks you to play there’s?