These Games We Play


games we play as a family

She washes the mushrooms and brings them to the counter. She pulls one from the colander and clicks the stem off. I take it and begin slicing as she mumbles, “I wanted to slice them.” I toss back at her, “I want them done a certain way, so, I’ll do it.” Her body slumps, an echo of defeat tracers the movement of her hands against the mushroom stems.

The words returned to my mind, “You always have to be right.” It was quipped with a smile and a laugh, but there was truth in jest.

I surrendered the knife, and she sliced.

We stood side by side, me tending a pan of wilting spinach, her swishing a spoon through sliced mushrooms leaving a wake of butter and olive oil in its path. We stand among aromas and laughter, and words are tracing the counter tops, the cabinets.

And, it is hard this holding on to letting go. It’s hard to set the child free. To let her be who she is to be. How do you set someone free who holds a piece of your heart? But, for now, we stand two hearts working as one.

Hours later they sit side-by-side faces aglow with the reflection of the incandescent screen. They chat about usernames and passwords, and I question what it is they are doing. “Setting up an account, to play the game, mom.” The wafting memory of pre-dinner talk roams the nuances of my mind as recollection fills my senses.

They are stuck and need my help, and for a moment they are children grasping my hand. I guide them through the unknown territory, and then they release me and run off… “Okay, we got it” …alone.

And, it is hard these games of hide and seek, hiding from childhood and seeking adulthood. It is hard to let them win, to release them to the world.

In the reverent moments like these, I have to count the cascading evidence of the aroma of our lives lived…

The Thinker and I take long walks and pass through the doors of all the possibilities that lie ahead. Blue Eyes states something drastically “blond”, and we all chime in with laughter and jokes.

Dreamer and I spend the afternoon together shopping for food. As we drive home, Reece’s cupped between fingertips, I let the words lose, “It is nice to spend time with you, I enjoy it.” He smiles, that knowing smile.

Dreamer plucks the ball midair, kicking it with his toe over his opponent’s heads. He retrieves the rolling sphere, dribbles it down court, and shoots…

“Was that luck, or skill?” The Thinker prods Dreamer after the Futsal game. “Cuz, I’m pretty sure that was luck, but it looked awesome.”

The easy feel of returning to our schedule.

“Oh, there are lots of new people in class this semester.” The computer keys clack under racing fingers as both kids climb into new relationships with biology classmates.

The slow check of a “to do” list completed. “Wow mom, that is a good word.” Blue Eyes chortles my way. “

The Thinker takes down our Christmas lights because, “I don’t want to be that family.” He shrugs under the weight of my statement, but fulfills my wishes.

A girl’s, and boy’s, day all planned and in the works.

Welcome I’m Milena


Stay at home mom, decorator, photographer, writer… Any way you want to label me, really, I’m just a girl living life, just like you.



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