Family Games
April 12, 2022

What’s more fun and rewarding than spending time with your family? Every family has its own traditions, whether they were planned to be traditions or not. In our family, we like to play games together. As a child growing up, our family’s favorite game was Rook. Rook appeared at the end of almost every family gathering: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays, New Year’s Eve. You name it, there was a Rook deck involved! It was a game for the adults because there are several rules to remember. It was a sort of right-of-passage when the adults decided you were old enough to learn the game and join in.

We would choose our partners, create groups of four, and bring out the decks. We would often have Rook tournaments that lasted for hours. The winners of the games played each other, and the losers would play each other. Although we called it a tournament, there were never any hard feelings toward one another. The joy of gathering together was rewarding enough. Family relationships were strengthened, as we laughed and joked around the tables. Stories were told, and retold, that never seemed to get old. Stories of loved ones who have passed are remembered, and those that we lose are still somehow with us in these memories.

The tradition continues even now. When we siblings get together with our families, someone always suggests a Rook game. There’s a kind of nostalgia around the game. We are suddenly young again, at home, as we were when growing up. Since gatherings with one another are few and far between, this is one way we can reconnect. As we all have children, we have included other games that are appropriate for the kids to play together. They love Apples to Apples, Tenzi, Pictionary, Kahoot, Blokus…practically anything that gets the cousins together and laughing. And the adults break out the Rook deck!  It’s never long until a child asks, “Can I play? I think I’m old enough.” Then someone takes the child by their side and lets them play along with them as their “extra” partner.