The Story Behind the Sweet Board Game
If you hang out around our house long enough, you will hear:
Make. Life. Pleasant.
In fact, last February, right after Jordan joined our family, we made a little book called MLP. As a family we staged different situations and took two photos. In one photo, we made life pleasant and in the other photo we didn’t.
For example, we set up a game and took one photo with everyone was sitting and playing. In the second photo, Jordan stood up and danced while Stephanie stood with her hands on her hips screaming and Sam played Legos and Hannah walked away.
We created a series of photos like this. Anytime there was an issue, I made a note of it and later — after tempers simmered down — we staged photos for our book. The book stayed out in the thick of family life…on the counter and in the car and on nightstands.
Sometimes it takes a long time to learn MLP. It’s been nearly a year since we became a family of six and we are still learning to make life pleasant.
We’ve been hunkered down for a few days now because of snow and cold temperatures. Naturally we brought out the board games. We love playing board games and Clue is one of our favorites. I posted this photo on Instagram, with the caption, “Better than TV.”
I’m not sure I told the truth.
It was a miserable game. One person took as much time as possible on his turn. He moved, then went back. He counted wrong and had to recount. He made an accusation and then changed his mind again and again and again. He hid game pieces and didn’t reveal them until we looked under the table and under the game board and under ourselves. He had to check every card eight times to decide if he could prove someone wrong.
Another person had to tell everyone what to do. It sounded a little like this: Mom it’s your turn. Roll the dice. That’s 7. You can move to the Hall. Or you can use the secret passage. Now make your accusation. You should guess Miss Scarlet. No, don’t guess that, we just had that one and Dad proved it wrong. You should guess the rope. Now pass the dice. Your turn is over. Just imagine this monologue for every single person on every single turn.
Add in phone calls and dropped cards and two drinks being spilled and a few arguments. The TV starts looking golden.
I remind myself we are the kind of family who has fun playing board games together. The TV simply disguises MLP with complacency.
So we persevered. Kind of. Eventually we set a timer and played until it dinged. Then we pooled our knowledge and won the game as a family.The game ended and the kids were all cheerful.
Andy and I were exhausted. “It’s a learning experience,” he said.
I might have rolled my eyes. I might have wondered if my life long favorite game was going to be donated to Goodwill. I might have wondered if my frazzled patience would last until bedtime.
The thing is this: If we don’t learn how to make life pleasant, then we just roll through life surviving. The world doesn’t need more people surviving. It needs people thriving. Perhaps the caption wasn’t a lie after all. It was so much better than TV…not because it was easier, but because it helped transform us into the kind of family we want to be, and that means we each thrive by being the individuals we are created to be.