I’ve come to regard summer games as the bells that call our adult children home.
By Jeanne Rollins
I’ve come to regard summer games as the bells that call our adult children home. Last Fourth of July our family gathered with cousins, aunts, uncles, and siblings to celebrate one another and our independence – both national and personal. As our children branch out and find their places in the world it’s important that they feel securely rooted in family and tradition. Next to breaking bread, it seems that games have become our favorite pastime. As parents we need to set the stage for healthy activities the same way we set the table for daily nutrition.
That fun-filled weekend, squeals of delight could be heard morning, noon, and night from ongoing tournaments in croquet, ping-pong, badminton, beach paddle, and our newly acquired Bananagrams (a no-board version of Scrabble). Kids in their 20s who might otherwise have set up beer-pong sought out wholesome games and more ways to play them. Someone even suggested we paint our garage pillars “chalkboard” to keep our running scores and memories recorded.
One afternoon I fell asleep in the hammock while pondering which was more satisfying to hear, bird sounds or game sounds. The game sounds prevailed because for me they represented both joy and connection. Who could ask for more than that? Our summer games seem to bridge the gap between generations and create common ground for our expanding and varied group.
The warm associations we have with games, along with the food we share, have become the crumbs that lead our children home. Whenever possible we mark our calendars, stake our territory, and let the games begin. My hope and prayer is that a family that plays together, stays together.