Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blood+Yahtzee = Family? Part 2

(Continued from December 12, 2009) ...... So, we dragged out the Yahtzee game, wiped off the dust that had gathered from years of inactivity, and sat down to play. After reviewing the rules of the game and inserting my favorite Yahtzee joke (the joke, by the way, is - “There is more to this game than meets the die”!!), we sat down to play a game. Three hours later, we had finished 4 games, while exchanging stories, sharing laughs, and bonding just like we did when they were little tykes!

Even with our competitive natures, it did not seem to matter who won. The only thing that seemed to matter was that we were together enjoying each other’s company for a prolonged period of time – not just exchanging a few short words as one enters or leaves the house, which had all too often become the case in recent times.

The next day after church, one of my kids announced that it was again time for Yahtzee!! Without much delay, everybody gathered at the kitchen table for another 3 hours of Yahtzee, while again enjoying stories, jokes, and even slightly non-offensive disagreements over the rules.

My daughter even made a few cracks about my alleged receding hairline, a myth (O.K., it’s a fact!) that she had previously been reluctant to share. But, with the camaraderie of the game in full swing, she let loose, much to the delight of the peanut gallery!

Since that weekend, we have played Yahtzee on most weekends. To add some spice to the events, we have invented our own rules for Yahtzee, such as the person with the most 6’s after ten turns wins, or the person with the most 1’s after 10 turns wins, etc.

My youngest son has also introduced Chess to the equation. As Chess only involves two players at time, it has become a good substitute for Yahtzee when others are gone. I am sure that even more games will become a part of our weekly FAMILY GAME NIGHT as time progresses. YES, a new family tradition has started in our home. I am only sorry that we did not start years ago!

So, yes, while enduring the pain of stabbing needles, while losing boatloads of blood (O.K., it was only two vials!), and hearing about nonsensical lab technician stories to get through the awkward moments, one can learn something. In this case, we learned that our family has become closer, enjoys being together more often, and that a lifelong tradition has started with gusto!

Of course, the lesson for all is to not wait until your kids are too old to start a FAMILY GAME NIGHT. And, of course, it’s never too late! The fun that you have will last for a lifetime ..... even if it costs you a little blood!

So, how about you? Do you have any rituals for family fun? Please pass them along!

Paul W. Reeves

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