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I'm calling Malarky


Sometimes, as the weather turns chilly and my drive to do anything turns ‘off’,  I wonder why I have to come up with activities for my child.  He's the one who is bored, why am I the one going crazy for a solution?
It often ends up as disappointing as suggesting ideas for dinner. 
Lasagna, anyone?  -EWW! 
Straw Hat Casserole?  -Gross Mom.  
Aside from pizza, any suggestion I come up with is a failure. 

On days like these I am happy to turn the reins over to those who have mastered the word "bored": the board game industry.  
Ever play the board game Malarky?  In Malarky, “you don't need to know the answers, you just need to make people think you do.” It’s a great game that teaches the skill of quick thinking (or lying, call it whatever you want).  But it’s the kind of thinking our sweet, innocent kids will need in their future lives. 
Like when filling out a resume. 
Or when asked if they think their partner is getting fat. 
Or each and every year when they get caught by their kid trying to hide his or her Christmas present before wrapping day.  I am not the only one who has to come up with, “I know the box clearly says iPod.  The neighbor bought himself one and was going to toss the box.  It’s the perfect size for storing old photographs, so I kept it.  Don’t judge me.”   
…am I?    

Well, one day they’ll be the ones trying to hide the gifts, so get them prepared.  Play Malarky. 
But don’t let them get too good. 

Yesterday I was the one who was bored, and all I wanted to do was read.  I found a great review for a book called The Age of Miracles.  I was very excited!  According to the review, it’s a coming of age story with a unique background.  The setting is Earth, but at a time when Earth’s gravity is failing.  I couldn’t wait to see how this played out. 
I shared this thought with Stephen who didn’t look impressed.  He waved the book off saying, “Oh, that? I’ve read it.”

Seriously? Does he not realize that I am the one who buys his books?  Or drives to the library to pick
up ones we are borrowing?  I know what he has read and what he hasn’t…except his teacher has complained that he is often caught reading under his desk when she is lecturing the class.  And aside from books he brings from home, he also stocks his desk with books farmed from the school’s library.
So it’s possible, although highly unlikely.  I mean, we’re not talking about The Hobbit here.  This book doesn’t have a wand toting Harry Potter, and there are no demigods saving the world.  In other words, not his type of book.

I questioned him about the story.  He replied, “I don’t want to give away the whole story, but my favorite part was when gravity returned to Earth.  There was this one guy in mid-leap when it happened and the way he fell when gravity took affect…you’ll have to read it yourself, it was so funny.”
“Oh yeah,” I stood my ground. “Well if you read it you know why gravity failed.  How’d that happen?”

Stephen picked up a book from the coffee table -always a sign that he’d like to wrap up the conversation and move onto something (someone?) more interesting- and plopped down in a nearby chair. With no further delay and no stutter to be heard, he answered, “Well, that part put me to sleep.  They got all technical with it, but basically they discovered that every two millennia the planets align in such a way that the earth’s rotation is messed up, and of course, that messed up the gravity.”
Not to go all valley girl, but that ‘totally’ makes sense.  The alignment of planets would mess up rotation and a messed up rotation would affect gravity.  Duh.  Knowing how the author created a world where gravity fails has only wet my appetite for the book even more.  Misaligned planets? I MUST read this book!  And I must stop judging my son’s reading preferences.  He is unique and amazing and who am I to say what he has read or not read?

I thanked him for bringing this book to life for me.  Then he stood up to go with one last quip.
“I was just kidding, I never read that book.  But I had you going, didn’t I?”
Now the kid has me wondering: why am I the writer when he can come up with a back story with no hesitation?  And why am I busy scrambling for ways to entertain him?  
The queen must pass over the crown.  There is a new master in the house.   

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