End of an Era

Boo, the kids and myself tend to be somewhat of a low-tech family. Sure, we have digital gadgets. I couldn't live without my iMac and all of the toys that go with it, and I was finally brow-beaten into trading my old camera for a spanky new digital model. But on the whole, we are decidedly low tech. And we revel in our archaic ways. In fact, we thrive marching to the beat of our batteries-aren't-required drum.

We like board games. Nothing beats sitting around a table with a chess game between you and the cold, steely eyes of your competitor. Memories of hours spent with friends and siblings playing games like Connect Four and Life, echo in our minds, reminding of us of the warm and fuzzies of our lost youth. The marathon sessions of Monopoly, while snacking on orange juice and pistachios (and volunteering to be the banker so as to pilfer an extra $500 bill when no one was watching), provided us with endless hours of quality bonding time with one another.

Those were good times. It's not to say we didn't spend time in front of the television, hooked up to the newly purchased Atari system and trying to outwit the clever Donkey Kong. But board games always wooed us back with promises of laughter, camaraderie and merriment.

Boo and I never out grew our love of old fashioned entertainment. Board games have held their sway over us and carried into adult hood. Just add liquor and presto! Instant adult entertainment. Ever try playing Twister while tossing back vodka shooters? It's the one game where you can "accidentally" latch on to a lady's boob or a man's posterior and get away with it. In fact, the more schnockered you are, the funner it gets. Try getting away with a boob graze or a butt clutch while playing video games and see what awaits you. You will have the authorities called in a heart beat.

As parents clinging to their past, we have tried to pass along our love of good wholesome family cheating values and invested a sizeable chunk of change in a variety of games. We started out with Candyland and Perfection, then Snakes and Ladders and then eventually moved up to more serious pursuits of Risk.

It's not to say we keep our kids in a cave and deprive them of all high-tech wonders. When my brother, Stretch, discovered we as parents had shied away from a video entertainment system, he stepped in to become the benefactor of my children's game system. He didn't want his niece and nephew to grow up with out knowing the pleasures of staring endlessly at a television screen while rapidly and repeatedly pressing buttons with their thumbs.

But the seeds had already been planted in my childrens minds, our indoctrination was successful. (That's not to say they haven't lost hours of their lives while toiling away to conquer the latest Zelda game.) Our kids love board games too.

So last night, after dinner, we broke out the ole Scrabble board. And as the eldest, and thus the most responsible, I kept the letter bag close at hand, to ensure no cheating occurred. Fric and Frac are extremely competitive and will go to great lengths to try and beat the pants off the other.

I sat there and marvelled at how these bright and beautiful children of mine can sit and intelligently play a game with me. It was only yesterday it seemed, that they were teething and learning how to totter about. I realized how swiftly time passes and how blessed I was to have these sweet souls call me mom. It won't be long before they totter off into the real world, leaving me with memories of their youth and a dusty game board.

I also realized my time for cheating unnoticed is swiftly coming to an end. Like sands through an hour glass, my absolute reign as board game Queen is coming to an end. Unless I better my slight of hand tricks, I may actually have to start playing by the rules.

Those kids are smart and have eyes like a hawk.

They take after their father. Dammit. I can't cheat with him either.