Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Kids, Me, & Madden 2005

Yes, I know the title of the post is not grammatically correct but --- hey --- it communicates.

So my oldest, Jeremy, is home from Berry College for the summer. Sure, he's been home for a month now but I've been busy (don't ask; details to follow) & haven't had time to blog about anything. Great to have him home. He is nearly 20 now & has greatly matured. He's always been more mature than other kid his age, but now I can really see it. More mature than I was at 20. Good head on his shoulders. He will be a junior at Berry next year. Even though he is going to the cross town, arch rival of my alma mater, (Shorter College - GO HAWKS!), I believe he made the right decision for him. I'm super proud of him.

My youngest is now 10. Still sweet. Very tender hearted & the kid every teacher wants in their class. Never in trouble. Jameson is the unexpected blessing my wife & I prayed for, though we really weren't expecting a blessing to be a 3rd child. Then again, God has a way of blessing us with things we never imagined.

Jamie is my daughter. Fifteen going on twenty-five. She is Daddy's Little Princess. I call her "Peaches." Always have. She has me wrapped around her little finger & she knows it. All girl. The apple of my eye.

But Peaches doesn't like Madden 2005. Jeremy, Jameson & I do. Almost an obsession. We created our own Franchise, in fact: drafting players; naming our team; creating our stadiums; developing our strategy; etc. Madden 2005 may be 3 years old but it is new & fresh everyday in the TBAR house.

Right now, I'm winning. I wish I could say it is because I am such a good manager of the Flames franchise, but it ain't that. (Hales' Flames --- get it?) It is not my coaching skills either. I drafted well, but that is not the reason I'm on top. Fact is, I got lucky in the game I was playing against my oldest. One of his screen pixels fumbled the ball in the Red Zone, allowing one of my screen pixels to pick up the ball. Yep. My guy just happened to be closer to the ball than any of his players. So with 39 seconds in the game & down by three points, I ran a play that just happened to get a fast receiver open. The Mighty Flames QB (Ben Roethlisberger) threw a strike that went for 83 yard TD reception. I am up by 4 points to win the game & be #1 in the standings.

I feel like a million bucks; $750,000 considering inflation & gas/food prices.

Now for the serious reflection. Madden 2005 is a game. Nothing more. For some folks, technology can be an obsession of itself. It can be dysfunctional. It can be disastrous. But for my two boys & me, it is a fun way to kick back, let off some steam, laugh & just be guys.

We've had some neat conversations in front of the TV screen, holding those controllers. Politics. Faith. Ethics. Guy stuff. Family. More politics. Dreams. Disappointments. Life. Hope. Blessings.

Don't sell technology short. For whatever its problems, it is given the guys in my family a chance to have some fun.

What will they remember about the summer of 2008? That we had a blast playing some silly, antique football game. In 50 years, I hope they tell their grand kids about me & the good times we had --- & how I spanked them with my superior skills, of course --- while making memories with the folks that mean the most to me.

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