Risky Business

Not the movie. The game. Risk. Usually Chloe plays alone with her dad. But with Sophie at her friend’s house for a sleepover, I crashed the war for the first time. Chloe loves Risk. My husband likes playing the game because he always wins. After a few minutes of listening to the two of them interrupt one another to explain the rules to me, we dove into battle.

The self-induced torture (I was, after all, the one who insisted on joining them) lasted about 90 minutes, until I waved my invisible white flag and conceded defeat.  I couldn’t take it anymore. The game doesn’t involve nearly as much strategy as I thought. If you’re lucky with the dice, you win. If you’re unlucky with the dice, you lose. Simple as that. At one point, I had conquered Australia and Asia. That domination lasted all of one turn. As I started to lose all of the countries I had fought so hard to win, my mind wandered to how much I’d rather be watching the second season of “House of Cards.” Except I had already binge-watched all of the episodes. So much for will power.

Although the game did not impress, I appreciated our time together.  Between Chloe’s social life and our hectic schedules, it’s rare that we get to share these kinds of moments with our oldest daughter. And we are acutely aware that these opportunities will present themselves far less frequently as Chloe sinks deeper into the quicksand that is teenageddon.

My husband and Chloe teased me mercilessly during the game, but I didn’t care. We laughed a lot. Especially when our 13-year old reminded us that, despite her official age, she’s still a five-year old at heart. As the game progressed, we all became a little punchy and restless. Chloe took two of her blue army pieces, stuck them in her nostrils and waited for us to notice.  Her papa saw them right away because, let’s face it, he’s a five-year old at heart, too.  It took me a little longer.  I warned my darling daughter that her uncle had once tried the same stunt with a magnet and ended up in the ER because it got lodged in his nose, but she didn’t care. Chloe continued her antics for another couple of minutes.  And then, with unconcealed glee, she blew the pieces out of her nose onto the game board.

Thanks for the memories, Chloe – Risk, snot and the blue army have formed a permanent triptych in my mind.

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