This edition of the cheeky weekly is all about the revival of the family game night! I grew up in a little hillbilly hamlet in Trinity County; we played games while cooking, cleaning, eating, partying, at sleepovers, and while chilling out on the porch waiting for the sun to go down. Cribbage, Candyland, canasta, my sister and I could play it all, but most of all we loved playing with our parents. Laughing with them, feeling that family time, that was total kidgold.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people never get rid of their games; they keep them in the family, pass them onto kids and grandkids. My grandparents have a Monopoly set that’s only held together with masking tape, pieces replaced with various tiny household objects for those that have been lost or swallowed (my sister liked to put things in her mouth. So much for the thimble.) My grandpa would pull the games out of the attic every time we’d come for a visit. A dusty old Sorry game, Clue, Monopoly, Pick Up Sticks, Tiddlywinks and checkers. My grandma and Aunts and my sister and I would spend hours chatting and nibbling snacks and laughing over endless card games. My grandma would spank the living daylights out of everybody at Scrabble yet give us the Catholic humility routine like she felt bad for kicking our asses.
The thing about game night is that it required interaction and was a catalyst for conversation. Getting to know each other, spilling our guts, crying our cries, learning how to love each other and be supportive, even when your little sister was rubbing it in your face every time she won. We were learning tolerance, love, acceptance, and sportsmanship, all while making memories. Revive your family game night, turn off all the screens, give each other your full attention and laugh and marvel at your grandma when she beats you. Let your little peanuts stay up a bit later so they can finish games with you. And make sure everybody shakes hands at the end.
Since this edition is mostly about games and geekery, it wouldn’t be complete without a photo essay of the tiniest gamers in town, the Sacramento Valley School Chess League. Huge thanks to Stacey Bonneau of Bonneau Photography for capturing Chico’s own little Chess Champs.