Ok, so it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s my interpretation of family game night.
It starts out innocently enough. Everyone is gathered around the coffee table, happily chatting about the expected fun. We review the rules of the game. Wide-eyed and all smiles, the three children listen attentively, nodding their heads in agreement to play by the rules.
We begin the game. Everyone waits patiently for their turn. Money is doled out carefully. Please and thank you’s flow through the air. Go is passed and $200 dollars is collected. Pleasantries of the day are exchanged. Empires are built. Compliments of each other’s great gaming skills flow like honey. All is right in the world.
Then it happens. The game board is accidentally bumped. Game pieces shift. Money mingles and hotels tumble. “Hey, that’s mine! I own Boardwalk!” … “No, you don’t! I bought it three turns ago!” The downward spiral begins. Eyes are rolled. Voices are raised. Fingers are pointed. Accusations of cheating are made. Dice flys through the air, inadvertently hitting someone in the head. A goldfish cracker is chucked in retaliation. Juice is spilled. Tears begin to flow…theirs and mine. It all goes to hell.
This is the reality of game night with my 9, 10 and 11-year-olds. I hold out hope that some day we can make it through a board game without the start of WW III. I’ve heard tales of families completing entire games of Monopoly without incident as they belt out verses of Kumbaya My Lord. I envy these families. Damn it…I want to sing Kumbaya My Lord!