During the days surrounding Christmas at the family farm this year, I noticed a change in my role as mom. Not once did any of my three boys ask me to play.
They played eight games of Dog-opoly – one that went to almost 11pm, laughing, trading properties and gunning for Free Parking. They did not need me to keep it going or fair.
They played with Nerf guns and raced across the grass, strategized in the tree house and moved stealthily through the barn in imagined battles. But not once did my second grader hand me a weapon. Just this summer, I frequently found myself dodging chickens, Nerf gun in hand, as we went after the enemy. But with all three on the same side of the battle, they did not seek out another soldier.
They had a blast together. Three energetic brothers in a tree house take the game to a much higher level of fun.
And while that has always been the goal – raising three boys who are good brothers and friends – I felt a tremendous loss. Now what?
I am not ready to let go of playing with my sons, but admittedly excellent at Dog-opoly, I never made a good Nerf-toting, chicken-dodging soldier.