Family Game Night (or How to Know if You’re a Writer)
Two nights before Halloween, we were all sitting in the kitchen enjoying Family Game Night. Family Game Night is something I came up with a while ago to give us all some quality time together. It seemed like a good idea in theory, but usually what happens is we start playing a game, then someone gets bored or doesn’t like that game and goes off and gets a book and starts to read, or someone gets hungry or wants tea or someone answers the phone and talks to her friend Sabrina who is in a different time zone and has a few more hours before her kids come home.
But last Monday we were all settled into the kitchen, homework done, dishes piled in the sink waiting hopefully for the fairies to come and clean them. My husband and I were playing Quirkle and the children were writing Halloween stories. Liam was writing a new episode in his series “Stanley Dog!” in which Stanley and his friend Superkitty have to go trick-or-treating in costumes they don’t like but their parents make them wear anyway because they’re too tired to come up with something else. Dawson was writing a story about two cats who want candy but keep getting thwarted by the spirit of the night who doesn’t want them to get strep throat.
“I love this,” he said. He was on page one. “I’m going to be a writer.”
“Good for you,” I said. “Quirkle,” I added to my husband.
“Darn,” said my husband. He was losing, which made me feel sorry for him, even though I knew it was a trap. My husband has a knack for being behind through most of a game and then winning in the last few turns.
Dawson was on page two. “OH NO!” he said, letting out a cry of despair. “I don’t know what HAPPENS NEXT!”
“Plot troubles,” I said, shuddering. I put one of my tiles down. “Three points.”
“Seven points,” said my husband, putting down two of his tiles.
“THIS IS TERRIBLE!” said Dawson. “Help me!”
“You could be a writer,” I said to Dawson. “You’re sounding more and more like one by the minute.”
“Quirkle,” Tommy said. “Actually, wait. Double quirkle.”
!@!?!!! went my face.
“I need some tea,” I said.
“Ooooh! I JUST CAN’T DO IT,” Dawson said pulling at his cheeks. “Can you finish this for me?”
“Wow,” said my husband. “That’s exactly how you sounded when you were working on your novel.”
Later Dawson said he probably wouldn’t be a writer, but would rather be a Lego maker or a diamond finder. Liam finished his story with no problems and went on to the next one. My husband won the game of Quirkle in the last two rounds by three points. He might have won by more if someone other than me had been keeping score.
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