Family Game Night: A Roll of the Dice

Game Night Concentration

Nostalgic, 50’s-era images of family game night smile in my mind when I suggest a game together after dinner. Whenever we pull out a board game, I get the same cozy feeling of snuggling in with my kids and husband and I visualize the happy turn-taking, dice-rolling, card-drawing moments.

Then the idyllic fantasies of harmonious family fun are interrupted by bickering, and impatience.

While we play games together a fair amount, we have no rhythm or schedule so when we finagle the time to “Twister” or “Scrabble,” it’s a treat we all love. Excitedly, everyone rallies to clear plates, select a spot and set up the pieces.

Chants of “Why does she get to hold the bag?” “Hurry up and go!” pepper the air and pop little holes into my cheerful bubble. “Seriously?!” says my teen as her brother puts down a tile that doesn’t fit right.

Happy about her tile selection!

Familiar choruses of “Who’s turn is it?” and “We’re all waiting for you!” rise simultaneously. We’re rushing. We’re playing together, spending time together but we’re not in that sweet spot of enjoying each other yet.
Somehow after some diplomatic problem solving, some negotiating of who’s in charge of what role, and further rule explanations, we’re off and running! We’re laughing, joking, and creating some actual memories of family contentment.

My husband let’s Michael know it’s his turn, but oddly Michael comes out as Mock-el and we’re instantly in hysterics. When the kids burst out as a trio singing refrains of “Mock-el” with funny voices the humor is magnified. This would be funny to no one else anywhere, but it was a silly, bonding, perfect family moment.

“Mock-el” Celebrating

Cheering one another, helping a sibling with a turn, and giggling replace the fresh-toned snip-its that began the evening. Discord has evolved into celebration dances, high-fives and fist pumps.

Family Game Night has forced us to slow down and simply BE together. The game is just a game, but really, it’s a unifier, a peace-maker, a magical elixir. We are all content, truly enjoying each other and as I look around at my joyous family, I see us in the magazine advertisement for a board game. My sentimental fantasy is realized.

And that’s why I suggest it again the next time!

Some of our current favorites: Qwirkle, Doodle Dice, Would You Rather?, Mexican Train (Dominoes)

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2 Responses to Family Game Night: A Roll of the Dice

  1. […] Pack games like cards or simple board games. One of our favorites that’s easy to pack and play on a blanket is Doodle […]

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