My kids, like many, have a room in our house devoted to their objects, oodles and oodles (and dollars and dollars) of mostly noisy plastic stuff. This room often seems to explode, depositing trippables all over the house. But it turns out, surprise surprise, that maybe they don’t need all of that stuff. Who knew? Here is the game my kids made up and played for a half hour on Friday when it was too hot to go outside:
It started simple. They take turns kicking a ball down the hallway, and then chase it, yelling, “Come back here!” They notice that I am watching, and stop to explain the rules to me.
“We kick it and then we run and say, ‘Come back here,’” my son explains. Yup, that’s pretty much what it looks like.
After a while, my son’s ball goes into the living room, and my daughter tells me, “His ball is in the mud. I hope it’s OK.” So an out-of-bounds has been introduced. Cool.
After watching for a while, I go into the other room to put away some laundry, and I hear my daughter’s voice, “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you. I’ll clean all of the mud off.” So incredibly sweet.
Too sweet. Clearly what this game needs is a monster. The monster proves to be a crucial element. One person “plays soccer” (i.e., kicks the ball). The monster waits. As soon as the ball is kicked, the soccer player runs to save it and the monster growls menacingly as they try to either grab the ball or attack the soccer player or both.
They notice that I am watching again, lured away from the laundry pile by the promise of violence that often accompanies the introduction of a monster into the proceedings. It is then decreed that both kids are monsters, and I am the soccer player. I briefly grieve the comfy seat on the floor from which I have been happily observing, but I haul my tired butt up to play Monster Soccer.
And it is the most. fun. game. ever. I kick the ball, take two steps towards it, and am attacked by two growling and gleeful monsters, their eyes shining with the joy of the hunt.
“Again again!” they chant, after vanquishing both me and my soccer ball. And again and again and again. In my mind, I take a photo of the moment. Beautiful. I am always so busy... cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, putzing on the internet. I’m glad I stopped for a moment to play a round or ten of Monster Soccer.