By Jeff Larabee
Kid dinner options at our house have reached an all-time low. Cheese quesadilla, grilled cheese sandwich, mac & cheese, cheese and crackers, bean & cheese burrito. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bite of cheese and especially a well-prepared charcuterie plate, but c’mon kids! Can’t we branch out just a little bit? Preparing dinner for these unsophisticated palettes is quite a boring endeavor. But while dining options at our house are repetitive and mundane, our dinner entertainment is not.
“What game should we play?”, is the first question asked before their cheese dinner of the day has been touched. For this family plays games. I don’t mean just once in awhile, I mean every night we play games. Board games, card games, dice games, guessing games, strategy games, every type of game you can think of. And we always play at dinnertime. While I envision many families cherishing dinners spent around the table sharing and reminiscing the highlights of their days, our dinners don’t quite look like that. We steal pirate ships, we connect trains, we yell “Ruckus” and “Yahtzee” and wear weird headbands. We spin the dial, we roll dice, we deal cards, we flip coins, we advance our pieces.
The games are so hot and contested nobody realizes they just ate their 5th straight cheese dinner of the week, the more important thing about dinner at our house isn’t what you ate – it’s if you won or lost.
The dinnertime commitment to games is so high in our house I had my cousin (www.doublebutter.com) specifically build a custom dinner table with under mount, easy access storage for games then ship it cross country to us from his awesome furniture workshop in Denver. The dinner table was not designed with dinner in mind – plates of cheese can fit anywhere. The table was designed to maximize the number of games that can be played on it.
Oh, and the poor table. While my 7 year old is smart enough to be our Monopoly banker, you can imagine what happens when playing Spoons and a full plate of mac & cheese and a full glass of milk stands between her and the last Spoon to grab. The table takes a beating. And when an accident happens or a spill occurs not one person yells, “Quick, save the table”. It’s always, “Hey, I had more cards than that”.
We play games to quench our competitive natures, to challenge our minds and to share time with our close-knit family in the midst of our busy lives. We play to win not to lose and we play to laugh at ourselves and laugh at each other. But mostly we play because it’s fun.
As we, the greater La Mesa Community, leap into the year 2020 we have neighborhood dining options that are more interesting than at my house, we have games and events scheduled all over the city and we have the joy in our hearts to get out there with our friends and enjoy whatever game it is we like to play.
Play a game today!