You're in me
You gave me the love,
the love that I never had…”
–Peter Frampton, I'm in You
“Bryce, you have to ask just one of us for a 10, not all of us,” I said.
Bryce giggled. “Ah, c’mon. Okay. Daddy, do you have a 10?”
“Go fish, baby!”
“Your turn, Beatrice,” the Mama said (what I lovingly call my wife).
“Mom, do you have a 2?”
“Yes, here you go.”
“Yes! A match!”
Beatrice laid her two 2’s on the table next to her other pairs.
“You know, the way I grew up playing with my sister, we always matched all four of any number before we put them on the table,” I said to the Mama.
“I don’t know; I’ve always played that you only have to match two cards, not four.”
“Supposed to be four.”
“Who cares? This is the way we’re playing now.”
I nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”
“And you keep going if you get a match.”
“Yep, that part I get.”
“It’s still my turn! Dad, do you have a 5?”
“Go fish, baby!”
And so it went. I’ve been playing “Go Fish!” for decades, and it just never gets old, especially when you’re playing with your family. Such a simple yet strategic memory card game, we’ve been playing on our latest vacation and it’s a nice break from the go, go, going and the see, see, seeing that the Mama and me like to do when we travel. It’s also a break from the device downtime that we all participate in, even though we have been limiting the girls iPad device time (at least trying to, at home and traveling).
Plus, a deck of cards is smaller than most phones. And you don’t have to charge it.
Too much device time is another story for another time (and me on my phone always posting to Instagram and Facebook without missing a family beat, usually), but the Mama’s been really good about having the girls do “summer school work” during summer break, even on vacation – keeping up with reading and math for both girls.
And how we do like to play games together as a family – Go Fish, Monopoly, Life (where we get our diversity and inclusion talks in as well), and others.
Again, because of the ease of carrying cards wherever we go, Go Fish is the default downtime fun for travel (for now). Especially when we’re taking an afternoon break from sightseeing, or right before having dinner. It’s seemingly easier to connect this way since the girls are only 7 and 9 years old; we’re still a few years from the tween to teenage dramatic dynasties (which were dramatic for us all, boys and girls alike). It doesn’t mean we won’t play fun travel games in the future, but it will be a different fun, just as in every stage of our lives with children.
I love these Go Fish times. We share our favorite activities from the day, what the girls’ favorite foods and treats were, the Mama and me share an adult beverage (or two), we all tell silly jokes and laugh, laugh, laugh. I didn’t have that a lot as a child, at least not as consistently as we’re able to do with the girls today. My sister and I played a lot of games together growing up early on, and our mother shared in the game fun when she could, but too many times we played in solitude to offset the negative energy of domestic violence that surrounded us (and why so many songs of the 1970’s haunt me).
But this isn’t supposed to be a “woe is me” moment; that was then and this is now. Again and again with the now. Sharing our family love for one another and enjoying being in each other’s company as Dad, Mom, Sister, Sister.
“Does anybody have a 4?”
“Bryce, you have to ask one person, not all of us. C’mon,” I said.
“…I don’t care where I go when I’m with you…”