Day: December 28, 2015

Triforce Heroes

One of the games which made an appearance on Christmas was three copies of Triforce Heroes. This is a Zelda game for 3DS which is best enjoyed with three players who are sitting in the same room with their three devices. At first it was Kiki, Link, and Patch, but over time Patch lost interest and went off to play other games. This left Kiki and Link in need of a third player. They drafted me.

I’m not a particularly experienced player of video games. I played Nintendo 64 quite a bit when the kids were young because they liked to watch. Recently I picked up the new version of Majora’s Mask and have been playing through that. But I don’t have the practice or twitch speed that my two kids have. This is fine. My job is to follow along, not get hit by the bad guys and to assist in the solving of puzzles. I like not being in charge. I like moving through a world where the kids are the experts and they look out for me. “Mom you just stay up there until I kill all the skeletons.” “If you run close to the middle when it shoots, you won’t get hit by the laser.” Occasionally I show unexpected expertise and then I get a “Way to go Mom!”

Of course the game sometimes gets frustrating. There are times where I lose track of which little person I’m piloting on the screen and I accidentally run off the edge. Or none of us know how to beat a monster and it kills us over and over again. I may have said things like “Agh! I’m no good at this!” and it is possible that I stomped my feet on the floor in frustration. Then I looked up to see my kids looking at me with wide eyes. “Mom, do we need to take a break?” No. I was fine. The frustration was momentary. It comes and goes in the intensity of the moment. They just aren’t used to seeing me distressed in that particular way. So we all took a deep breath and agreed we’d give the frustrating monster one more try. We made a plan for who would take which role in the attack. And then we beat the thing. Together.

Triforce Heroes is a brilliant game for getting three people to practice team work. We try things and they don’t work, so we try different things. We talk about what we’re seeing, because it is impossible to complete the game unless we cooperate. I’m having a great time playing with my kids. I needed the challenge, the cathartic frustration, and the uproarious laughter. I kind of hope that Patch stays uninterested so I can finish the story with the others.

Anxious Thoughts

One of my least favorite forms of anxiety is when there is an incident involving one of my kids and an adult from outside my house. The incident spawns a half dozen emotionally charged conversations which range between damage control and emotional processing. I then spend the next two days and nights with every spare cycle in my brain attempting to re-write it all. Could I have prevented it? I should have been more confrontational. I should have been more conciliatory. I should not have said that. Yes I should have, I should have said it stronger. Here is a thing I should have said, but didn’t. Here is a thing I think and feel, but didn’t say because it wasn’t constructive. Except maybe I should have said it. Here is another thing I should have made clear. Except I already tried to make it clear, didn’t I? Can I be blamed if the other party is incapable of hearing what my child and I are saying? I blame me anyway. Except I don’t because logic tells me that the incident occurred because the other adult overstepped bounds. Not our fault. But I should have handled it better.

And then there is the time that my brain spends trying to script out what I should say and do for imagined future conflicts. Because this isn’t over. More conversations will need to be had. And I dread them. Because I don’t expect them to go well. And I have to figure out how to stay focused on the important goals and not on venting feelings. My brain is really good at making up terrible scenarios where everything goes wrong from here and relationships crash and burn. It plays these scenarios out in the spaces between thoughts of conversational re-scripts. While I’m trying to be asleep.

The good news is that everyone inside my house is in accord about what happened. Conflict does not dwell inside my house. The other good news is that my child is more loving and Christ-like than I am in this. I may have to follow my child’s lead, which is right in line with scriptural instruction. More good news is that I have spoken to other adults in my child’s life and they are allies to my goals. I have not asked them to step into battle, but they will make sure that they take extra care to love and accept my child in the next few weeks. My child will need that.

Now if I can just get the noise in my brain to quiet down enough so that I can think clearly, that would be nice. I need clear thoughts to hear inspiration and guidance before I have any more conversations or take any actions.