My youngest left today to begin his final year in college. Where does the time go? The older they get, the more we treasure the special moments, and I’m grateful for the few weeks we had together out of an otherwise busy summer.
During their younger years, we spent many a night playing games. After my move to a condo last year, I realized that most of our game collection was left with game-master David, who also has more room than me. There is one game, however, I still cherish — backgammon. It’s not just any backgammon set, but a handmade treasure from the mosaic craftsmen of Syria. I can still picture the shop, just off Straight Street, near the home of Ananias (yes, the Ananias of the Bible). It was one of the first things we bought after moving to Damascus in the early 1990s, and it’s traveled the world with us.
So, in one of our quiet moments, Nathan and I pulled out the table and opened it up, soaking in the familiar pattern and quality workmanship. Of course, he beat me more than I care to admit, but it doesn’t matter. We were together, mother and son, laughing and talking, playing and making memories.
The game is once again folded neatly back up and restored to its home in the hall, ready for its next use in days to come. Some would say that playing games is a frivolous use of time, but I disagree. Games draw families together, allow devices to be set aside for a while, and conversation to flow. I’m sure a scientist could use big words to affirm my limited findings that we all need games, but it’s not necessary. I’ve drawn my own conclusions — I love playing games with my family. I need that time, not all the time, but from time to time, and I’d like to think they do as well.
When the memories are all you have, what will they remember? Were you a fun parent, willing to get off the phone, leave work, stop doing laundry and just play a game? You can’t be fun all the time, but they will remember that you were when it counted.
Do you have your kids with you still? Play a game. You’ll be glad you did.
Grace and peace