Routine Wednesday. I’m home with my 5 kids—cooking, cleaning, laundering, homeschooling, refereeing. Pit-stopping every 30 minutes with my toddler, potty-training. My phone rings.
Trickling with hint of kiddish-wonder, my husband questions, “Did you read my e-mail?”
He doesn’t sound worried. I assume he’s not calling to tell of a tragedy. But his subtle excitement that chimes through the phone, I don’t exactly recognize. “No, busy day so far. Haven’t had a chance to check my e-mail.”
“Well, go look at it.” He urges gently. Enthusiasm spills through his lips as that of a boy presenting his mom with a homemade, hand-wrapped present—“I made this for you, Mommy!”
I click on the link and begin scanning.
Meanwhile my husband bursts into summary, “Basically, a group of 10 friends vowed to keep playing a tag game as a way to keep in touch after high school. They’ve been playing it for 23+ years. You should hear some of their stories. Pretty hilarious, actually. Tag sounds fun.”
No need for convincing.
I’m already dreaming visions of my husband, four sons, bros-in-law, eventually all the cousins, and if we can persuade him—Dad, “Papa”—to sign on to play this thrilling, lifetime game of Tag. Yup. I’m convinced of Tag’s merit.
I respond, “Another great memory-making tradition to add to our goal of Family-building. I vote “Yes” for Tag.”
Still on the phone with each other, my hubby relays Tag stories. We giggle, tickled.
Our kids tug at me, making large hand motions to summon my attention. Their curiosity piques and their voices speak, “Mommy, what’s funny? Tell me!”
Fast-forward one week. Tag e-mails have circulated throughout our extended family. Preparations have been made to custom “fit” Tag into our memory banks, according to the unique dynamics of our family. Among these accomplishments . . . Check!
- Tag Rules drafted.
- The “Triangle” considered–that is, the very close proximity that our families live, work, vacation, and go to church.
- Talk of tag-players’ blinking blips “going dark” on Friend Finder during active Tag induced laughter.
- Important clauses such as “No tag backs” and delineation of Tag-free Zones were discussed and decided.
Perhaps most importantly, all men agreed unanimously. “No running at church.”
Tag Game Enters Family History
For our family, February 2013 earmarked the inaugural month of our new family tradition: Tag, “You’re IT!” The men of the family have deemed Tag “A lifetime game.”
As of its inauguration, eligible Tag players include: my husband, two sons (ages 14 and 11), and three brothers-in-law. Discussion stirs among some of us ladies—“Should we or should we not join in?” Tag-playing grandchildren still contemplate how they can convince their Papa to join the game.
What I Love about Tag
Overhearing my husband’s and sons’ regular plots, schemes–and supposed formation of alliances—makes me laugh while I work in my kitchen. As long as nobody gets shot, Tag fosters deeper family connection. It hosts good, clean fun. This mama loves events that keep her family talking. When my guys plot how to plant a tag, at least they’re pondering how to touch a brother.
Yes, Mama approves. Lifetime Tag counts positively as healthy family-building.
(Besides, Tag gives me one more reason to adore the man that is my husband. I respect him as a responsible, God-fearing man. But one that isn’t too grown up to play like a kid.)
Do You Want to Play Tag, too?
I hope you’ll consider establishing Tag or a different, but healthy fun game to play with your family. Make it a tradition. Cultivate relationships and build memories. Get your game “on” and tailor-fit it to meet the needs of your own precious family.
Get your game “on.” Share your thoughts and ideas re: clean, family-building fun in the comments.
Dear Lord, Thank You for the gift of family! Thank You for the gift of life. Of laughter. Of tagging. Thank You for the opportunity to love, live, and think of others every month. Enable us to keep tradition of cultivating the gift of family.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.