Fortnite Versus Mom

If you have teenage boys (or, apparently, are the wife or mom of an NBA player), you’ve heard of Fortnite, the multi-player, shooter video game that went temporarily offline this week, sending the youth of America into a tailspin.

At one point last month, more than 3.4 million fans were playing simultaneously.

Now, I know my boys would be appalled by this comparison, but from a conflicted parental perspective, it reminds me of Pokemon Go.

Remember that fad? Kids carrying cellphones and iPads and even laptops roaming the streets, trails, and playgrounds with their friends, catching imaginary Pokemons? Rumors of grown-ups falling off of cliffs because they were so absorbed in their search?

“Well, at least they’re getting exercise.”

“I’m just glad they’re outside.”

Now, comes Fortnite. A shooting game. An enticement to disappear into the dark, cold basement on a beautiful, sunny day. And what are we, as parents, saying?

“The thing is, it lets him spend more time with his friends.”

“They’re all inside the game talking to each other for hours. And I can hear everything they say.”

“It’s safe.”

“It’s social.”

“…and they’re learning to think strategically.”

“I want to say it’s bad, but…” said one Dad, “It’s really fun.”

Parents, I’m afraid those masterminds at Epic Games have figured out how to beat us at… well… our own game.

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The Little Things

I Am Thankful For…

The time I spend with my kids

Date nights

The fact that…

…Jackson dives in with his all, his killer smile

…Finn’s creative streak, a wild ride

…Max is soulful and funny and eager to share

Date nights

The fact that…

…my sisters are my friends

…I learned to parent from my parents

…I can still help with math

The time I spend with my kids

Hugs that linger

Afternoon sun through the trees

The first glimpse of the beach

Catching up around the fire

Date nights

And the time I spend with my kids.

Too Many Calvins, No Hobbes

At lunch today, our sixth grader quoted Calvin and Hobbes for the millionth time.

“It’s funny. Every time I build character, he saves a couple hundred bucks.”

He knows the comic strip so well that he can now take a real one (like that one) and alter it slightly to fit the current circumstance so that you don’t know if it’s Bill Waterson’s version or his. He uses it most often at the expense of his parents… always grinning… blue eyes twinkling… somehow coming off as innocent… like Calvin.

Laughing, I pointed out that the benefit of reading the same thing over and over is that you can quote it at just the right moment.

“That’s because Calvin and Hobbes is the perfect guide to childhood,” added his big brother.

“Many before you would say that’s what the Bible is for,” said Dad.

“But you are such a Calvin,” we all agreed of the sixth grader.

“What about me?” asked his little brother.

“You’re Calvin too.”

“Then who’s Hobbes?”

Silence.

“Dad?”

Nope. Another Calvin at the table.