My family is one of those that celebrates birthdays until they cease to occur. Yesterday we had a lunch to celebrate my son’s 34th and my wife’s next one. I may not have learned everything I should have in 58+ years, but revealing a lady’s age just is not done. Even those who are not prickly about their age, and I would consider my wife one of those, would prefer that people not share their age without purpose. Chris’ wife, three children (my beautiful grands) and my mother were also present along with Chris’ little brother.
The first sight I see is Chris working to assemble a Lego replica Cindarella’s castle. When complete, it will be almost 2 1/2 feet tall and contain 4080 legos. This may sound extreme to the uninitiated Lego observer, but to Chris it is, literally and figuratively, child’s play. When Chris was at Clemson and his brother, Brooks, still living at home they continued to have Lego days. At the height of their play, they probably shared some 200,000 tiny bricks, bases, characters, etc… Chris was being assisted by his oldest child and supervised by the two year old. His middle child is usually involved at different stages of building and the “blueprints” for this monstrosity comprise a book so thick, there will be many stages. It is truly a family endeavor and is the most normal thing in the world to me after watching both my sons and their friends spend hours putting their imaginations to work.
One of the gifts we had for Chris was a combo Xbox game with Monopoly, Risk, Battleship, and Scrabble. The first two are games that I watched, and participated in, games that lasted weeks going back to my adolescent years with my brother. Tim, my brother, and me would have to make additional money and houses and hotels for our extended life struggles of Monopoly. It is truly remarkable how some games are multi-generational and video games require regular updates and revisions. Chris’ first comment when seeing this gift, after thanking his Mom and me, was to tell his wife and mother that “William is gonna love playing Battleship!”. Again, 3rd generation in our family.
I guess my takeaway is that kids, of all ages, fall in love with things that engage their imagination, calculations, competitiveness, and childlike wonder. The idea that most of these traits remain with us long after we are considered adults is not news to me. I have maintained my childlike curiosity for almost 60 years now and can still enjoy a 2-3 day long game of monopoly. I know that is why I so enjoy reading, surfing news, and writing.
The best part of the day though, after enjoying my Mom’s chocolate eclair cake? The two year old being held by Bess (my wife to the grands and her siblings) pointing to G (me to the little ones) and being passed off for some snuggle time. Her big sis and bru still enjoy the snuggling in small quantities and I hope none of them outgrow that or their love for games and all things Lego!