Between M.H.’s job, my job, and Mik’s training schedule/social life, there’s really only one night a week we can have a family dinner, and that’s Mondays. But it seemed awkward to set the table and light a candle and all the stuff we used to do back in simpler days, and it’s hard enough to connect with our extraordinarily reserved 17-year-old. So I came up with a better idea: Family Game Night. Actually Mandatory Family Game Night.
The “mandatory” part is key. Besides appealing to my sense of humor, it signals to Mik that it’s really important to us to stay connected—and that there’s no weaseling out of it. In practice, this is just a quick game of Settlers of Catan played while we eat, but it works because Mik loves games—he comes alive in any competitive situation, and it’s the easiest way to get him talking.
And it is really important to us to stay connected. We’ll have him under our roof for less than two more years, and I intend to squeeze as much awesomeness out of that as I can.