This afternoon has been a bonus one for kids coming over to visit, especially when considering that it’s a school night. A-, my 17yo, had a pal over for most of the afternoon — they hid up in her room and likely talked about boys and kept up to date on gossip — while my son G- went over to his friend’s place immediately after school and then around 4.30pm they both came over here for the rest of the afternoon, with his friend joining us for dinner.
Dinner? Single Dad? Turns out I’ve whipped up a pasta casserole for our meal, which we’ll have with salad leftover from the Superbowl (yes, it’s about the last day we can eat it at this point). No pizza delivery or corn dogs for us, thank you very much.
What’s been fun is to watch what games they’ve jumped into. Electronics are verboten during the school week at my house, so there are no video games, no TV options, not even an iPod Touch or iPhone game to suck them away from being fully present for each other.
So what are they playing and having a great time with? Hedbanz. A very simple game that’s even highlighted in season 3 of Sherlock: players pick a random card from a deck and put it on a band so that it’s on their forehead, facing everyone else. The goal of the game is to then ask 20 questions of the other players until you can guess who or what you are. At this moment, A- is a basketball, G- is a cake and K- is a unicorn. Lots of laughing, lots of yelling. Good times.
Prior to that what game were they playing? The newly simplified and reissued Mousetrap game, now known as Elefun and Friends Mouse Trap, a game sent to us from the Hasbro team a few days ago. It’s really something perfect for a 5yo, but my 10yo and I played a “best of three” last night and earlier the two boys — two teen boys! — were having great fun chasing mice around the board and trying to lower the trap on each other.
Some days I look at all the technology our children have to play with and worry that they’re losing their sense of play, of imagination, of fun. Then I watch something like the chaos of their gaming this afternoon and realize that kids are still kids. Even with all the battery powered and rechargeable devices in their lives…