Saturday, March 29, 2014


When my children were little we used to have family night every Friday night.  There were four of us and once a month one of us got to choose the night’s activities.  We would go to movies or have game nights or go to unlimited pizza joints or build legos—all depending on who was planning the night.  On Thursday night the person planning would announce their choice and on Friday all of us would join in on the fun.  It was a lovely tradition that lasted for a number of years until teen-age Friday night activities eventually took over.

One of my favorite of our Friday night evenings would be when we had game night.  Scrabble, Monopoly, Catch Phrase, Trivial Pursuit, Aggravation and more.  Those evenings of laughter around games are some of my most fond memories of raising my children.  We would make popcorn and gather at the big table in the family room.  We would light a fire in the fireplace and open the coffee table so that we could all sit comfortably around the perimeter and we would get out a game to play.  The play would be sometimes aggressive, sometimes a noisy ruckus, sometimes silly and always lots of fun.  It is funny to think of the competitive brawls we would get into over a marble race as we played Aggravation.  Or the way my daughter’s and my minds would be working in tandem as we would play Pictionary—our quick drawings easily guessed by the other—we played as if we were reading each other’s minds.

Many things have changed since those nights of long ago.  Both of my children are making their way into an adult world.  Those nights are a memory but a memory that is part of the foundation of our history.  We have a history of play.  And that history is available to me—to each of us whenever we want to call upon it.   Tonight my daughter is having her bachelorette party to celebrate her soon-to-be nuptials.  (I can’t believe the wedding is only four weeks away!)  They are in Canada where she is having a game night of sorts with her friends and soon to be bridesmaids.  They will probably get a little wild and have great fun.  

This I know…life changes and life stays the same.  We grow up and out of family traditions.  Yet, what we built from those fun experiences is a constant inside of us.  Making fun memories with our children is golden and the foundation of those experiences is built and lasts with us through life’s changes.  Birth, childhood, teenage years, young adulthood and eventually a family of her own.  Who knows…maybe sometime in the not-to-distant future my daughter will be having a family night with her own family.  The history that is a part of her family of origin taking on a new twist...with a family of her own.   And just maybe—on occasion they will invite me over to join in the family night fun. 

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for writers and teachers of writing to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.


  1. With 10 of us in the family, our game nights are not as regular as yours but we try to plan one every month or so when everyone (except the college student) is home. Last night was one of those nights. Thank you for the reminder that what we're doing is not just fun for the moment but building memories forever.

  2. I love this--and feel like I should read more of your play-titudes from this month! My husband and I come from different play backgrounds, so to speak, and getting him to partake in my kids' and my games has been...difficult. But I think I need to bring it up once again, because I think the potential for fun and memories is too big to pass up!

  3. What a great family tradition that brings such fun memories. Your children not only experienced the fun of family time...they also got to be part of the planning which I am sure was great for their egos...such a positive way of developing strong self assured young people. They learned that the adults valued their thoughts and ideas...all from planning a family fun night. Love this. Good luck on the month...not long from now. A new beginning for your daughter...and she will continue those great traditions for her new family...and of course, will include you!

  4. Family night sounds like a lovely tradition - I have a feeling that it will continue!