Finding balance in a chaotic world

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Playing Lego Indiana Jones

LegoFor Father’s Day, my family gave me the video game Lego Indiana Jones. It is a funny little game where you play Indy or one of the other characters from and redo different scenes from the first three movies. The catch is that everything is made to look like it is made out of Lego. If you die, your character breaks into little pieces, you build things like cars out of Lego and then drive them, and everyone looks like a little Lego man. It’s a fun and silly little game that I enjoy playing. There is a great sense of humor in the game and I’m often amazed at how much story and dialog they can present in the game when none of the characters can speak. They just make little noises and emote a lot with their faces.

 

Now the main reason that I like to play the game is because it has a fabulous co-operative play mode where two people can play at the same time. Also, the game has very little penalty for failure. If you die, you lose “pieces” which you can buy things with, but it does not dramatically impact your progress in the game. All of this adds up to the fact that Hope and I can play it together and just have a great time. I occasionally have to help her do something in the game, but overall she does just fine and we have fun.

 

So on the afternoon of Father’s Day, we are sitting in front of the TV and start up the game for the first time. Now we have played all of the Lego Star Wars games (which work the same way, except it is Star Wars instead of Indiana Jones) so we know what to expect. My son, Piers, sits down to watch us play, and my wife comes in to read the paper and watch us. So soon the game starts and Hope and I are trekking through the jungle looking for the hidden temple and that golden fertility idol.

 

Along the way we fall of the edge of cliffs. A lot. Each time we fall, our little Lego guys break into pieces and my wife laughs at how funny the animation looks. We continue on and are soon fighting giant spiders and trying to get in a raft that is floating in crocodile infested waters. Piers is jumping up and down, very anxious that we might get eaten. He has his hands on his head and is making little stress noises. He’s three and he really gets into what he is watching. Amy is laughing at us as we keep jumping in and out of the water, trying to make it to the dock. Hope and I are chuckling because we keep failing and even when we succeed, one of us falls of the dock and back into the water.

 

And then it hits me. This is the perfect Father’s Day moment. I’m here surrounded by my wife and kids and we are all having a great time being together and playing/watching this game. It was such a simple and perfect moment and all it cost was the price of one video game and some time. We didn’t need to embark on some great adventure to bond as a family; we just plopped down in the living room and spent time together. That is what made this year an especially great Father’s Day.

 

So look around and take pleasure and solace in the day-to-day events that happen. Enjoy the time you have with friends and family and learn that the smallest things can often have the most impact.