Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good, clean fun

There's a new activity going down in my house.  It's not about electronics, nor little bits of plastic squares that hurt when you stand on them in your socks.  It's all about rooks and pawns and kings and queens.  There's a craze sweeping my boys circle of friends and it is one I celebrate.  Chess is hot.  Chess Club is hot.  Personally I can't, don't, won't play chess.  My 8 year old tried to teach me.  He didn't see my eyes glaze over.  I don't do games, my brain doesn't do games.  I know two card games, which I play reluctantly.  I have started playing checkers with my 8 year old as a weak alternative to chess.  He whips me.  He's never asked to play chess with me again (was I really that bad?). His Dad and him play regularly, the two brothers play, and the littlest brother tries to play.  It's something they do when friends come over.  I love the photo above, this was Saturday, Rafe's mate hadn't even taken his soccer shin pads off.
Who would have thought?
But what I love is that this is about how we used to play, making up games, rather than having the games made up for us.  My youngest can play for hours with two sticks (which are actually aliens/baddies/dinosaurs, and not just sticks), but that's just the kind of boy he is and I think I got wise to the mistakes I've made in the past with my older two and the addictive nature of electronic devices.  I love that this game transcends age, personality, sex - I see my son's friends longingly eyeballing a game The Husband is playing with one of the other boys, and I've listened in to a conversation between an 8 year old and a 10 year old about chess moves even though they have not spoken directly to each other until now.  But what I love most of all is that our playstation has dust on it (ok, figuratively, it always has dust on it but I blame my mum for that as she used to make me dust the house every second day and I have a deep seated resentment of dusting now).  None of my boys have given it a second glance for ages now.  But the chess set has had a hammering.  And that just warms my heart.

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