Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fat Brain Toys. I have received product samples and compensation from Fat Brain Toys; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.
Can you believe that 2014 is almost over? I mean seriously, where has the time gone. Another year come and gone in what seems like in the blink of an eye.
We’ve had quite a bit of excitement and lots of action packed happenings. As I sit and reflect back on 2014 I think about all the fun that was had, the fun we had as a family, I am full of sorrow for what is now missing.
The joy of sending your eldest off to college, in another state no less, is indescribable. I am so proud of J-bird and all of his achievements! So fortunate to be able to call him my baby boy, even if he is legally considered an adult now, at least that’s what the airlines claimed when they said they couldn’t discuss his flight information with me.
With his departure went a few other things that were cherished, and some not so cherished. For example I definitely don’t miss the extra loads of laundry, the extra grocery bags, the extra anything and everything that it takes to maintain a growing teenager. I do miss him throwing out the trash, because Papa tends to forget. And I definitely miss our late night chats.
The late night phone calls just aren’t the same. No matter how much imagining I try to do, I simply cannot conjure up the image and feeling of him plopping down next to me to chat. At midnight, always at midnight he suddenly wanted to chat. And I’d always joke with him and say “sorry, it’s after 12am, no talking.” But of course I’d let him talk and I’d sit and listen, even if I was forcing one eye to stay open and only hearing half of what he was saying.
When J-bird was home I was much more encouraged to take action on certain things. Like family game nights for instance. Many years ago I instituted Thursday’s as family game night. As J-bird went from child to teenager to young man, his time at home became less and less frequent. Forcing family activities, vacations, etc., on him was no easy feat. So I did what any mama would have done, I cut a deal. Thursdays belonged to the family.
We would sit and have dinner, as a family. Each week someone new got to choose the game for the night. We’d play a mini game like memory or a puzzle with Em first. Once the girls were in bed, it was adult time. Family game night sometimes would even include friends. Hey, the more the merrier, and we like to consider our friends as part of our family.
Family game night meant laughs, chats and generally getting to know each other better. There is plenty you can learn from playing games, whether competing against one another, or playing as a team. Bonds formed, secrets shared, and trust built.
With J-bird gone, so have the family game nights. It just doesn’t feel the same. Interestingly enough though was that Em took notice. And so we have begun again. Recently I received an interesting cube from Fat Brain Toys called the Paradox Box. It’s simple, yet complicated. It’s for one and for all. It’s a box with two small holes. Pop a marble into one hole and try to get out the other hole. Simple enough right? NOT.
My friends preteen is visiting from Argentina. He asked about the box and I told him to have a go at it. He looked it up, then down, then all around. He thought, he shook, he asked questions. Then he put it down.
Just as I thought he had given up he picked it right back up and suddenly (like a minute later) had the marble in his hand, proudly showing me that he had conquered the quest. When his dad came by to pick him up we set him up with the challenge. Beat your son’s record of five minutes.
He failed. But didn’t give up. Until he did. This simple, not so simple, little box engaged so many minds that evening. It incredible how one little game can bring so many people together. Only a big family dinner or a family game night can bring family and friends together to enjoy each others company. I miss J-bird being home, and am hoping that maybe, just possibly, we can have him join in on family game nights via Skype or something. It just isn’t the same without him.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fat Brain Toys. I have received product samples and compensation from Fat Brain Toys; however, all opinions are my own. Regardless, I only share products that I truly believe in and use for my family, that I feel will be a good fit for you the reader. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.