Good morning, Mamacita. Whew. I started for work at 5:15 AM this morning. Early start to the day, hopefully early start to the long weekend.
Are you heading up to the cabin? Down to the shore? Over to Grandma and Grandpa’s? Whatever you have planned, I’d like to encourage you to go a little Old School over this Independence Day weekend. Put away the electronics at some point and do some old-fashioned family thing… charades, say, or maybe a hike… volleyball in the yard, building sandcastles at a beach, Candyland or Monopoly.
There is magic in looking into each other’s faces. Magic I tell you! More magic than in all the Harry Potter and Hobbit movies put together. Important magic.
Last weekend, my crazy husband did a 100 mile mountain bike race. The kids hiked and then swam in the morning, and we went out to cheer Daddy over the finish line just after lunch. We were staying in a condo with several other families – 7 kiddos worth of craziness.
That night, the kids had talked about getting The Empire Strikes back, and watching the movie together. Not all the kids had seen it, and they were all jazzed. I had laid in stores of popcorn and Junior Mints, and the raced-out Daddies were looking forward to sleeping through most of it.
Then, funny thing, the video place didn’t have The Empire Strikes back. Then the computer wouldn’t download it. God, I think, was on our side.
After a twenty disappointed minutes, my oldest son suggested that we play something called “Fishbowl” instead of wasting any more time trying to pull up the movie. Interest from the younger set was tepid, at best. But son persisted, and I, hoping to stave off hours of grumpy children, encouraged them to try it.
It was a BLAST. The best. An hour and a half of laughing and screaming and creating inside jokes for months to come.
“Fishbowl” is a variation of Charades. You fill a bowl with outlandish scenarios on little pieces of paper which you then go through three times. The first time, you can use words and actions to get your teammates to guess things like: “Gandalf in a canoe” or “Flying chipmunks attacking New York City in fighter jets”. Hysterical. My personal favorite was “whale pushing a shopping cart” because of how much we laughed trying to figure it out. Each teammate gets 60 seconds to work through as many of the slips of paper in the bowl as they can. Each correct guess earns your team a point. The second time through, you can only use actions to get your teammates to guess the same slips of paper. The third time through, you get to say one word. The word for “Gandalf in a canoe”? Wizard. We guessed it in two seconds.
Try it, Mamma. The movies are easy, and they are entertaining. But they don’t build memories. Our electronics, thank God, didn’t work, and I learned a valuable lesson.
You can be strong enough to turn them off.
Have a great long weekend, girl. Great!
With love, love, love,