Day 3 – At 12:30pm yesterday we arrived at the local Baha’i Center for a monthly Game Day that happened to be during Ayyam-i-Ha. Now a bit of background. Over the years, game day has been informal, held whenever my mom, husband, or I got the notion to host one. This amounted to one of us setting the date and time for the next Saturday then telling all our friends what we were up to. It wasn’t a Baha’i event, but we more than appreciated the use of the Baha’i Center. On the appointed day, folks would show up with food, games, musical instruments, and often more friends. We might begin at 1pm and not close up shop until 1am, laughing and playing continually in between.
Since than we’ve moved into an RV and don’t live anywhere in particular and my mom’s been working to recover from cancer, so game day has been neglected, though we have been encouraged by a certain sweet friend from Korea to host another one. Then in early January, a couple friends who are new to the area decided to begin a more organized version of Old Faithful. Theirs is regularly scheduled, a potluck followed by a specified time of games and hanging out with friends.
So yesterday was the second of the new breed. For the first time, all I brought were three drums, a bit of food in our basket, and my family. We arrived at a decorated, bustling Center, a table full of food and one person calling to another, “How are the ham and turkey doing? When will they be done?” Then in walked a friend we’d invited. Seeing as I was used to these events being informal, see-what-transpires kind of affairs, I hadn’t told him (or our other invited friends) about it also being a Holiday party. No matter, we just followed along with the pre-set program and added our own music and silliness. A drum circle that included two excellent drummers (one professional), and a Name That Tune By What’s Being Hummed that my younger son led, dancing in the center of the game with a beautiful smile on his face the entire time (may be the first time he has been willing to conquer his shyness and do his best in front of non-family). How that humming game gathered smiling, nostalgic, thoughtful participants as we all vied to figure out a usually off key melody. I spent most of it beaming at my son.
For lunch, at a long table covered in a white cloth, I sat at the end spot, the only female, which, I was told by another woman, was a great service, as it kept the men from being too something or other. Not sure what, but we were the loudest, rowdiest, laughingest table for sure.
Later, organized activities included “Pin the tail on the ???” which turned out to be an animal that wears its tail like a horn, and a gift exchange game where each person took a number from a hat and could, in order, either choose a present from the present table, or one already in the hands of a previous chooser. In the end, all carried home the gift they wanted.
Two raucous rounds of Apples to Apples lasted an hour past the official closing time, but the party was still in full swing even as a few noble souls began cleaning up. At the end of the card game, my older son found two jump ropes in a drawer in the children’s room and brought them out. Before we knew what happened, the lot us were completely immersed in all kinds of cooperative as well as competitive jump roping acrobatics.
The height of this came when my younger son asked if it was possible to jump in ropes going round and round in an X formation. We got that coordinated (the ropes have to go high enough at the same time, turned by four people with the ropes not parallel but crossed) eventually and first three people managed no more than two jumps each before getting tangled or whapped in the face. Then, the fourth person to give it a go decided to jump in rather than start from standing and he managed 22 jumps. There was much rejoicing! Turned out my son just happened to be recording. This news brought even more rejoicing.
Another hour later, just before 8pm (three hours after the “end” of the party) clean up being an ambling affair carried on by now very tired folks, our family left. Unlike previous Game Days, we were not the ones to lock the door, did not need to need to wait for cleanup to be completely wrapped up, and honestly, for that, I am immensely grateful.