Tonight was the second night that I sat down and played a video game, Tomb Raider on the PS3. I had forgotten how much fun it was to play games and losing myself for a while as I concentrated on riding my motorcycle and shooting the bad guys was fantastic. We are a gaming family for the most part, but each of us wear a very different game face.
My oldest becomes calm and serious when he plays, especially if he’s driving a Formula One car on the Spa circuit in Belgium. However, you must not look, talk or even think about him when he's in the zone because concentration is key. Oh, he also reads the game book, in its entirety, before he plays a new game. Nerd.
The middle child gets rather animated and yells “Are you kidding me!!” repeatedly at the screen no matter the game. I’m not too sure why he continues to play because it rarely seems like he’s having a good time. He's like a tortured soul, even when he's winning. With him, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be removed from the game before his time is up as I hate to see his head spinning around.
And then there’s the third child, my daughter. Who lies perpendicular on a chair, head on the armrest and looking like she’s about to take a nap. Her games are little more geared to her age, like Little Big Planet, which are usually child-like and fun. But, just when you think all is right with her sweet fantasy world, out comes a maniacal little laugh as she shrieks, “Take that! Heh heh heh!” Scary.
The Husband pretty much sticks to his Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and goes into combat daily. Next to his wife, COD is his bestie. I like games like Zelda and Prince of Persia - my own little fantasy world where I’m on a quest. I'm a mix of the two boys, but I get to curse under my breath. And unlike my kids who get no more than an hour a day, momma gets to play as long as she wants. Sweet.
We do the Wii games as a family, mostly bowling, and nobody likes to lose in my house. Someone always ends up in tears and then we know family fun time is over. After the Husband dries his eyes, he regroups and goes into combat to make things all better.
Now, what I don’t understand is why some people are fiercely against video games. I’ve been playing since my Dad brought an Atari home back in the early 1980s and pretty much haven’t stopped. I can understand if it’s not your thing, however I don’t get those who ban them or even keep their spouses/boyfriends from playing.
That’s right ladies, I’m talking to you. You let that man play if he wants too! Like anything with life, it’s all about moderation, not eradication. that's for the enemy on the screen. I'm quite sure if you give it a try, you'll no doubt like it. And if not, don't be hatin' those of us who do.
We all have our passions in life, but the stigma some associate with video games can be a death sentence for relationships. However, In my house, it not only brings us together, but also gives each of us a little escape from the real world.
That's the part I like.
My two boys, in seventh and eighth grade respectively, recently had to fill out a profile questionnaire that would help map out their future. There were questions about goals they have for the next five years while in high school, in addition to what their interests presently are. There were also questions about where they wanted to be in ten years. They both looked at me wide-eyed, asking for help in figuring it all out and couldn’t believe I wouldn’t answer the questions for them. They were upset that I, their mother, who has directed them all their life didn’t have the answers about their future. Each asking, "Mom, what do I put for my goals?"
What I wanted to say was, “How the hell do I know?”
But, that wouldn’t have been productive, so I just told them to think about what they have an interest in now and work with that. Apparently, that was too broad too. Naturally, it got me thinking about all the plans I had in my high school days. I knew where I wanted to go to college. I knew what I wanted to study. But, most of all, I knew I wanted to do what I wanted. Isn't that the way it works?
The Husband and I learned rather quickly that even the best laid out plans change from moment-to-moment, especially once I became pregnant with our first child. My world was in a tailspin during that time and to save my sanity and marriage, a change in strategy was necessary. We packed up everything and moved across the country. That’s when I realized the necessity of becoming malleable with life and have made efforts to not hold on too tightly to future plans. Yes, I know I have control of my destiny…blah blah…and, I’m all too happy for those whose plans work out perfectly. All I’m saying is that the long term goals didn’t happen for us, or the short term really. And, I’m good with that…mostly.
My fear, however, is that my kids may have inherited their parent’s fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants attitude. They know what they want to do today, yet can’t fill out a form that details what they want to do after high school. And to be fair, that has to seem like a million years away, especially if you’re measuring with the basic teenager’s exaggeration scale. I’m thinking that what they don’t realize is that they’ve also inherited their parent’s justifiable fear of planning too far down the road. (Yes, reasonably justifiable.)
I always thought I would easily be able to direct my boys on where to go to college, which fields to study, and most definitely which girls to marry (Gigi is going to be a nun, so no worries there). I simply can’t do it. It's too much to process for myself, much less them. I honestly want them to find something they're passionate about and go with the flow. If all goes as planned, perfect. However, if not, I want them to be okay with changing it - after they call their parents to see if it's okay.
Kidding . . . mostly.
My photo adventures in Florida