by LJ Barr
A mother receives an update on the meaning of Family time.
| Oh, God, I hate Yahtzee
Here we are back at our vacation home away from home. I’d much rather be home. Coming to this place has been an annual event in the Johnson for twenty-one years. If asked, I’d stay home, at least, I could cue up Netflix and watch a movie on the Sony Big screen tv in the Dad’s Man Cave. All there is to do here, is play games; the only game mom seems to know how to play is Yahtzee. Conveniently, dad can’t be here. So, it’s mom’s choice; therefore, I am about to sit down to a game of Yahtzee. God, I hate Yahtzee. It’s not that I don’t or can’t win, it’s just that it’s so boring. I think it’s worse that sitting in my college classroom listening to a lecture given by a monotone zombie called a professor. The man in question teaches philosophy; I would swear on a stack of Bibles that he died and came back to haunt his students. Glimmery is that so old, I think his crackles at night while he sleeps.
Anyway, so here I am, sitting at the table about to play a game I hate because mom thinks Family Time is good, and she’s right, a little family time is good but two weeks of this when the anniversary only lasts a week. I guess that’s what I get for choosing to spend my college Leave Time at home.
“Ah, mom,” Nancy said, “one of the dice is missing. Nancy doesn’t know that I watched her slip the dice, in question, into the pocket of her jeans.
“Well, we can’t play Yahtzee without both dice, and this is the first night of our vacation. I guess I can probably buy a set of dice when I go into town tomorrow.”
“Mom,” I said, “is Yahtzee the only game we own? What’s wrong with Clue? We always play that when dad is here?”
“Yes, hon, but I like Yahtzee, and it’s my choice; we will play Yahtzee.”
I sighed. “Did you ever think that maybe dad considers Yahtzee boring? I mean, I do. I came home to be with the entire family, not just Nancy, me, and you. There are six people in our family. Why can’t we come together for a holiday during the holiday season? You’re right about family time, but a little family time goes a long way. God, I hate Yahtzee. Can’t you put a satellite out in the yard; I know we have a good signal.”
“Teresa, you said that before,” mom said.
“That’s because I never took the time to look around at where the cabin is located. This is a beautiful place, mom. Why can’t we g camping and really discover this place. How many years have we been coming here? Twenty-one, years and I haven’t gone into the backyard. By the way, that’s something I’m going to do, tomorrow.”
“Do you feel the same way?” Mom asked as she looked at Nancy.
“Yeah, I do. Family time is not just about playing Yahtzee, mom. Do you know what I did with my life in the past year? Do you even care. Family time is about communication, mom. When was the last time you had a heart-to-heart with any of us? I mean, Marsha married last year? Of course, you knew it you were there. But did you know that she and Nate nearly broke up a week earlier. Did you know that Nate cheated on her? No, you never knew these things because Marsha told me you didn’t take time to ask. We haven’t talked since I was in junior high, mom. Did you know that dad’s been having a real hard time with his PTSD? That’s why he lives in the apartment attached to his office. Knowing how your mind works, mom; you probably think he’s been cheating on all this time. Find these things out, mom. Get to know your family.”