Friday, October 20, 2006

A Blessed Reunion



It was cold and rainy.  As a matter of fact, it was unseasonably cold for the end of September in Central Pennsylvania.  The rain was that kind of rain that gets into your bones and makes you cold from the inside out to every extremity.  And yet this day blessed us unlike any other in a long time.


But I have to rewind two months to tell you this story.  I was sitting at the kitchen table with the boys in the middle of the day and our phone rang.  The man on the other end said, "This is a voice from your past."  It was the man who had organized a softball team for which my husband had played over ten years ago.  When my husband and I began dating he played on three softball teams.  We didn't really date, we went to softball games.  The families affiliated with these teams became as close to us as our own family.  We spent weekends at tournaments and evenings at games with these people.  I sat on the baseline with the other ladies as we cheered our men to victory time and time again.  Then, because we were young and stupid, we walked away from those people.  We did it for a good reason, we were starting a family.  I had quit my job to prepare for motherhood and my husband took a part time job to make up for the financial loss.  Softball didn't fit into our life.  But we didn't keep in touch with those friends who had become so dear.  And then, more than ten years later, I got a call from the man who organized the last softball team for which my husband played.


I think there's a line from a movie that goes, "We're getting the band back together!"  Well that's what happened for us except the line was, "We're getting the team back together!"  The plan was to reunite many of the men who played together 10 years ago and play in a local tournament.  Most of us now had children who weren't in existence when they were a team, so our numbers would grow as part of this reunion team.


And so, we fast forward to the end of September.  When we arrived at the ball park there were hugs and smiles all around.  Everyone commented on how much our boys look like their dad.  Many were interested in why we chose to homeschool the boys and what the state required of us.  They were genuine and curious about our lives, as we were with them.  Old jokes were resurrected and we laughed until our faces ached.  As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, it was cold and rainy, but no one minded.  We were together with old friends, really old family.  And we were so blessed by it.


The team did really well, even though they were the old men in the tournament.  They won the opening bracket (winning 3 out of 4 games) before becoming tired and loosing in the single-elimination portion of the tournament.  But no one was upset at loosing.  It wasn't about softball, it was about being together.


That evening, at home, we sat with our boys over our supper and my husband prayed the blessing.  Tears welled in his eyes (and mine) as he thanked God for those men.  Men we had forgotten that we loved.  We thanked God for blessing us so immensely by allowing us to reunite with these dear families.  The blessing we received by being with those old friends and by the efforts of the coach at finding and reuiniting everyone will stay with us for a long-long time.

Game Day

We love games at our house.   We have more than 30, I guess.  And I'm always looking for more!  I find them at thrift stores and discounters.  I always take advantage of Toys 'R' Us' buy one get one free game-sale.  We LOVE games!


A few weeks ago, my youngest son began his day by marching to the living room and pulling out four games he wanted to play.  I wish you could have seen his amazed face when I said we would put aside my lesson plans for the day and have a game day!


We spent the next four hours playing games.  As a matter of fact, we may have played LONGER than four hours!  We played card games and board games and even some games that we made.  We ate our breakfast and our lunch around a game board.  It was a really fun day and we covered at least five subjects with all the games we played.  Even if we had only covered one subject, it would have been worth it because of the smiles and laughter contained in our kitchen that day.


After our pleasant game day, I announced that the boys could select one game day a month.  It would be their choosing, so they must choose wisely.  If they picked the first day in October, then there would be no more game-day until November.  So, one morning this week, the boys awoke and announced that it was game day.  As promised, I set aside my plans and we picked the games for the day.  Luckily, Daddy came home early and played the last game with us which gave us an added bonus to game day.  There was one game I asked to play, Lucky 13, which is a new card game we all really enjoy (I'll blog about that later), but otherwise, the boys were in control of the day, picking the games, setting them up and getting us started.


I am so grateful for the game day idea.  When you're a child, you have very little control over your day-to-day operations.  That must be frustrating some days.  Now, I'm not saying that we should always let our children do whatever they want so that they can exercise control.  Giving them one day a month of their choosing, however,  blesses them.  I could see that the boys were blessed to be in control of our day.


And lessons were covered.  There was lots of reading and writing (language arts), math, and geography (mapping and geography questions from a game we have) in the games we chose to play.


Do you need a break but still want to "get a day in"?  Would you like to learn with your children but have it be 100% enjoyable?  Let them choose a game day!  You will be blessed and so will they!