Kids, don’t kill your wizard

Gandalf-2What does it say about the modern parenting experience that I’m reduced to telling my kids I will lose hit points if they don’t stop squabbling?

This time of year is always wonderful but also so hard. The adults here are exhausted. Kids are hopped up on sugar and screen time and vicious cycles of anticipation and letdown. We’re all thrown together in a small house. Everyone says “Let’s just stay home today and do nothing but read,” but that’s not the reality. The reality is we’re constantly chafing at each other and someone must walk the dog or he will pee on the floor. I’m trying to find creative renewal after working so so hard this past year. (I had one week of crazed holiday prep. Now in my remaining week of break, I intend somehow to do a year’s worth of cleaning and take care of that little matter of starting a new book.) I feel like a drained battery.

I’ve never been so aware of how delicate my energy is. As a parent, a working person, someone who’s trying to write, I’ve realized it’s all about guarding your life energy. If you don’t, you can’t create. So it means exercise and clearing clutter and staying alkaline and somehow trying not to drink too much red wine. But it’s also not reading depressing news stories. And it definitely means trying to reduce the exposure I have to squabbling.

So while Grant is away visiting family, and I stand alone and brave as the sole parent/cook/tech support/mediator, I have a hit point counter. On the way to the airport I explained how all the daily crap kind of chips away at my points until I have a total mom-burst. But in a game you would never let your family wizard lose so much energy they couldn’t cast spells or cook you omelets or whatnot.

And this seemed like a perfect way of putting it, accessible to the game-addled child of today. Until my son reasoned that if I were an opponent, his goal would be to get me to zero.

Sigh. Holding steady–for now–at 100.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *