Thursday, January 18, 2007

When Life Gives You Ice, Make Icing

I taught Anson and Hayden to play Monopoly last night.

I knew Anson would love it. Since he’s already talked about taking over the Laynes Empire for Mike when he’s older, I was postive that a game about money and real estate would get my snaggle-toothed child pretty excited.

I knew Hayden would love it for about thirty minutes.

I knew we had plenty of time to play Monopoly since College Station seems to have become the setting for the new movie, Ice Age 3.

Two minutes into the game, Anson had all his money organized in little piles, from greatest to smallest bill increments. He counted it between EVERY turn. He actually used words like, “good investment” and caught several “bank errors.”

I was the banker.

He scares me how smart he is and attentive to detail. Before buying a property, he would ask for the property's card so he could read it. Who does that?

If you come over here often, he will ask you to play this game with him. Just warning you! He’s addicted. You may need to schedule Monopoly time with Anson.

Hayden’s money and properties littered half the dining room table. His “holdings” were scattered all over the floor and in his chair. He was playing a different kind of Monopoly. His game had very little to do with money or Oriental Avenue. His game was played between the individual game pieces on the board. He was a cannon, (most of the time) and he thought he was winning if his piece got close enough to blow up Anson’s dog or to shoot holes in my shoe. The funniest part was hearing him say, “I won.” I won meant he was in the space right next to us. He would say, “Engage cannon one” then say, “Fire in the poop deck” then dump us over. It was even funnier to see him sad and pouting, because he was not near our pieces. He was convinced he was losing the game even though his pile of money was decorating the room.

Ashton lined up all the houses, hotels and game pieces at the end of the table. Every once in a while, I would “accidentally” put a $500 in the $100 plastic parking spot in the bank. Ashton immediately would correct my “mistake.” I drove him nuts. It was a lot of fun.

I love Monopoly.

It reminds me of summers with my brother. We would ride our bikes down to the gas station and load up on Air Heads, then eat them while we played.

It reminds me that there need to be more occasions in our life when we can just sit…and play a game with people we love…for a very long time.

It reminded me that playing a game with your kids helps you get to know them better than sitting and watching a movie with them. Melodi told me this years ago.

In just a few hours, my kids had to practice being patient, kind, encouraging, good sports…and almost all of them got in trouble for something.

It was neat to see how a light blue square on our dining room table could bring out so much of our unique personalities and gifts, but also draw attention to our weaknesses…places we still need to grow.

It was an honor to pass down this love for the game to my children.

It was an honor to see them struggle and excel.

That’s what family is. We get the rare opportunity to be face to face with one another’s beauty and shame.


They all loved it for different reasons, Anson for the money, Hayden for the miniature silver game pieces, and Ashton for the wealth of things he could line up and sort.

I just love the shoe.

I’m always the shoe.

What piece are you?


Jennifer Bacak said...

This reaffirms to me that we should arrange Emma and Anson's marriage right away. I love that kid. And Hayden is so much like my own kids, it makes me laugh. How fun! You have convinced me to play a game with the kids today. Boggle I think, because I really don't like Monopoly. I don't like to handle money. It stresses me out. Too many decisions...Boggle for us. Or we like to play Old Maid.
How I love those Hendrick kids. And their parents too.

Kathryn Berilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathryn Berilla said...

Wheelbarrow...always the wheelbarrow.
I don't know why.
I love Monopoly, I have a classic edition of Aggieopoly that still has Jersey Street on it instead of George Bush Drive!
Who else remembers that!!!

bethan said...

I am the horse piece...I am the horse piece every time...and that was about the only thing I had control over in Monopoly when I was growing up. My dad thought that teaching your kids to be a "good sport" meant beating them mercilessly in the game of Monopoly. I'm over it, though...
I will probably have a child who wants to be the horse...and then I will learn selflessness.

Judy said...

yI was an English Major. English majors do not play Monopoly. I was forced to play as a child (with my brother who ended up at Harvard), and I soon learned I was not cut out for the math or money world.

Mark and I played Scrabble over the icy storm holidays. I can say holidays b/c I didn't have to work. :)

Garratts said...

Too see Mike and Anson play Monopoly together!

That is what I want to see next.

Anson starts Layne's training Monday at 9am.

Let him know!

the groves said...

OH man my long comment just got erased...don't you just hate when that happens!

Well, here we go again for round two. Let's see if I can remember it all again.

First of all I loved reading this story I could totally visualize your boys...too funny!

Secondly I was always the hat...who knows why I just thought it was the piece to be.

Third I love that yall are playing board games. I love them and since I was deprived of "game night" as a child I have already told Cody it is a MUST when we have kids. He doesn't share my love for games but its okay he will one day :)

Josh Vessell and Anson should get together to play monopoly. He is a big monopoly fan/strict rule follower. It would be fantastic!

Thanks for sharing the cute game story!!


sarah said...

i claim the thimble without fail.

your kids are hilarious.
my sister and i were the female version of anson and hayden.

UW said...

I was the the piece that won. That is all that mattered. Teach them Risk then their father would play, but you better know he will be out to win.

Melodi said...

How fun!!!!!!!! I went back and forth between the shoe and the thimble! I could just see Anson - math genius - lining up and counting his money. We had game night last night when one of our HOPE group members showed up thinking we were meeting. The boys received this awesome game for Christmas called "Sequence," and we have played for hours on many a night since then. Kaycee even called us during Christmas from South Dakota and asked, "Hey, have you ever heard of this game called Sequence?" I screamed! We're so connected we even learned the same game during Christmas, thousands of miles away from each other. ha! Game night. It's a must in a family.

D.O. said...

not that my parents didn't love me or anything... but we never played Monopoly, and I must be honest and say I don't really like the game. I'm with Judy. I'll play Scrabble, and I'll be the D. Or the Q. It's worth 10.

--matt g said...

i'm always the pestle.

i broke up my first fight at work

over monopoly.

we set up the board

first role of the game

mental health consumer #1 lands on baltic avenue

the phone rings...

after being on the phone for approximately 17 seconds...

i return.

mental health consumer #1 is holding a chair while shouting very threatening obscenities at 250 pound 6 foot tall mental health consumer #2 who is hyperventilating with anger.

monopoly money...and game pieces are everywhere.

i almost died jumping into the middle of this one, ya'll...
i almost died.

which is why i am always the pestle. as in mortar and pestle. i know what monopoly fanatics are thinking...

there is no pestle.

well, it's okay.

i'll probably never play monopoly again.

but, heather, i loved all the beautiful things you said about it.