I love games. Games that require thought, shuffling, rolling dice, spinning a spinner, turning over a sand timer, or leaning over to move a game piece. It’s a dying pleasure. Board games and cards have been replaced by Apps. The personal interaction has transformed to a virtual world of screen names and avatars. Apps are great and playing with family and friends all over the world is awesome, but it’s not the same as gathering together with snacks, music, conversation, and laughter.
I spent a lot of nights at my grandma’s house with my cousins. Apart from arguing about who would get the primo sleeping spot under the dining room table (I never won that argument), we played Uno. The best games were the ones that lasted hours.
Another favorite was Monopoly (until my husband sucked all the fun out of it. He has great potential as a loan shark.) I lived two doors down from my cousin and we’d play Monopoly during the summer. One game lasted a week. We had the patience and dedication to keep coming back to it, day after day, until we finished. I can’t imagine my kids doing that now.
My cousin’s family loved games. We’d sit around the table, eating chips, while the adults played “Twenty Questions.” They always laughed so much. I realize now that a lot of that laughter was at the suggestive nature of some of the questions. A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste.
That same cousin and I played a lot of games together, too. We loved to play Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit, and Life. The game of Life is especially precious to me. Near the end of her life, my great-grandmother came to live with my paternal grandmother. My cousin and I would go stay with Mamaw when Grandma wasn’t home and I always brought Life. My cousin and I would play in the floor for hours while Mamaw sat in her chair and watched. We didn’t talk to her much and we felt guilty. We were there for her, but we just sat and played games. We were only 12 and didn’t yet understand the concept of loneliness or the joy of children.
When I watch my children play, it takes me back to my childhood. I remember what it felt like to have no other care in the world than who was going to win a game of Uno. I remember how effortless it was to play Twister. When I watch my children play, I marvel at their intelligence, their joy, their existence. I delight in them. My Mamaw, sitting in her chair watching her two great-granddaughters play Life, laughing, and chattering probably felt the same way. I imagine her thinking about her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren. About her Life. We needn’t have felt guilty.
While we were playing Life, she was enjoying the fruits of hers.
This is a revised version of an earlier post. I’m linking up with the Yeah Write Summer Series.