With the recent torrential downpours, the Mill Creek Athletic Association in Gwinnett County cancelled all of the weekend baseball games by Friday as the fields were such a mess. It proved to be the right decision as rain continued through the weekend.
So, with my kids cooped up in the house, we talked about what to do. The boys wanted to go see a movie. Normally, we wouldn’t mind this, but both my sons had their hearts set on G.I. Joe. I saw no problem with taking my older son to it. However, both my wife and I were convinced that the movie was much too violent for our 7-year old. (Yes, he pouted.)
However, from there, we turned to board games. My kids have several games they like: Braves Monopoly, Tank Battle (game from my era, but a cool one), Sorry, and Battleship. However, their favorite game is Risk. For those of you unfamiliar with Risk, it’s a board game where the object is to take over the world. The board is a world map subdivided into 42 sections (Antarctica not included). The players start with an equal number of sections and attack and defend with rolls of dice.
It’s an entertaining game. My sons have favorite places on board, like Japan (because they’ve been there) and Madagascar (because of the movie). However, my 7-year old has interesting names for some of the areas on the board.
“Daddy, I’m attacking New Jersey.”
“It’s New Guinea.”
“I’m taking over Queen Bee.”
“Daddy, where’s A-Gyt?”
“Egypt,” I respond. “It’s in Africa.”
My kids get excited as they take territory. However, as shown above, they have problems with some of the names. As fun as the game is, though, there is always one part that makes me stop and think.
“Daddy, where’s Af-Af-Af?”
“Af-ghan-i-stan,” I say. Slowly.
“Afghanistan,” my 7-year old repeats. “What’s that?”
And that’s when I stop. Kids know we have soldiers fighting for our country. And you can explain that Afghanistan is one of those places. But how much farther do you go after that? When is the proper time to discuss issues like these with your kids? Is a rainy Saturday afternoon the time to discuss with your kids the lives of real G.I. Joes?
Readers, what do you think?