I mentioned that one of my new year’s resolutions was to have a weekly game night with Alyssa. I did this because I feel like, at ten, she’s on that cusp, about to step farther away from me than she’s ever been and I wanted to come up with a way to keep her close even as I let her spread her wings.
We all want to protect our children and yet we have to let them grow and learn and become independent of us. It’s so hard. She’s still so little in so many ways.
Reading to Olivia every evening means she gets my undivided attention every single day for at least those moments when we’re on the couch with books on our laps.
I wanted to give that kind of time and attention to Alyssa.
Yes, we still get our snuggle time in each evening after O’s asleep but I wanted something that would be fun, would be sort of a distraction that would still allow her to talk to me if she wanted/needed to.
I’ve heard of parents using time in the car to bring up tough subjects because it allows conversation without eye contact. Games can do that too.
Sometimes eye contact is hard when the topic is really personal or deep. So a game, something you can look at as you bring up a subject that’s been on your mind. I wanted to lay that ground work, make it a habit, a good one, that we can continue as she gets older and life gets more complicated.
The last two evenings when I’ve arrived at my mom’s to pick up the girls, my mom and Alyssa have been playing a game. Monday it was Rummikub and yesterday it was Triominos.
I love that my resolution is spilling over into other areas of our lives. I love that my mom is taking the time to play games with Alyssa too, giving her (A) the time and attention she needs from all of us.
Yes, we do sometimes play a game that Olivia can play too, but she often gets bored about three turns in and takes off anyway. So often, I’ll just wink at Alyssa when O asks to play, our silent communication that we’ll let O play for as long as she wants because we know she won’t play for long. Heck, most Saturday nights O’s asleep long before the game A and I are playing ends. So it’s win/win as far as I’m concerned. Olivia thinks she’s playing along and in the end, Alyssa gets my undivided attention.