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.”