Smith Silliness

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Games

on February 1, 2012

Our MOPS theme verse this year is “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.” 2 Timothy 1:7.  The MOPS team makes the analogy that a lot of times being a Mom is like playing a game.  And to play well we have to be bold, make some choices that require love and grace.  And often times, we need to remember to just be sensible.  Last week at MOPS we played games in honor of our theme and I thought I’d share with you the reasons I think being a Mom is like playing a game.

Things don’t always go as planned.  I have recently become a fan of playing Words with Friends, as those of you who play with me know I am not great at it, but sometimes I can set myself up for the perfect word… on my next turn.  That requires that my opponent doesn’t put their word in the spot I have planned for my double letter, triple word score amazing word.  Often my carefully laid plans end in someone else beating me to it.  Things don’t go as planned.  Not unlike the other day when my morning had been going perfectly. I had had time to work out, shower, and do my devotions all before the kids woke up.  I was feeling good, like I had a handle on the day.  I heard Katie stirring and snuck in her room to get her up without waking James.  She was excited to see me and was even showing off her pillow, which seemed to be smeared with something…  I assumed she had had a nose bleed and I would deal with the pillow later.  I picked her up and we headed out of the room, and that’s when I smelt it, the distinct odor of poop.  I looked a little closer at my daughter and realized her hands were covered in dried poop, and so was her face, and her pillow too for that matter.  Talk about my morning taking an unexpected turn!  Cleaning poop out of my daughter’s fingernails and sanitizing everything that was in her bed were not on my to do list for the day, but motherhood is full of unexpected surprises that you have to either get upset about or take in stride.

I don’t know about you, but there are sometimes when I’m playing a game and I just don’t understand what’s going on.  Learning Settlers of Catan was that way.  And, to be perfectly honest, the strategery  my husband and sister-in-law use when they play Clue is still hard for me to catch on to.  Just like the night James woke up crying in the middle of the night when he was 6 months old, with half of his face swollen to double its original size.  One trip to the ER and two office visits later we still don’t know what that was all about.

Sometimes, most of the time really, we need some help along the way.  Like when my 12 year old cousin had to teach me how to play Rummikub.  Or when I need advice on potty training or teething.  Or when a community comes together around a new mom and makes sure she has meals and diapers.  And maybe a shoulder to cry on when she finds out her son has a learning disorder or her daughter has cancer.

And then, there’s always the issue of house rules.  My sister and I almost never played any game by the actual rules growing up.  We had our own versions and that’s probably why I hate to play Monopoly with anyone who knows the real rules.  Because the house rules worked for us.  And they work for Moms too.  Every Mom knows the way she needs to parent her particular children.  There is no one right way to do it, but there is one way that works best for your family.  There’s no shame in house rules – even if you do get made fun of when you play Monopoly!

Really, in the end, the most important thing is that we played hard and we had fun doing it.  Motherhood can be hard, but if we remember to make the choice to laugh about the poop covered child, to realize it’s ok to not have all the answers, to ask for help when we need it, and trust ourselves that we know what’s best for our children, the journey to the finish line will be a lot more enjoyable!

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2 responses to “Games

  1. allen says:

    daughter like father; I have the pictures to prove it! ha! Love reading whatever you write about but these words had lots of truth to them! Great Job Mandy being a writer and mother!!!!

  2. nana sandy says:

    Your story brought tears to my eyes because I know what a GREAT mom you are being and an even more AWESOME wife to your husband. Keep up the great work and you will be blessed.

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