Join the club
I had a proud parental moment this week. I had a bunch of them actually, as I almost always do, watching my kids grow and mature and become unique people, but there was one that particularly amused me. It requires some back story.
I used to play Magic: The Gathering, a collectable card game, when I was a teen. It’s one of a whole genre of games that involves buying packs of cards, building decks from the cards you’ve collected, and then playing against the decks of other players. My four younger brothers all played too, and some of them still do, so we’ve developed a Christmas tradition where we all get together, buy each other a few packs, and have an evening of nostalgia-gaming fun.
A few years ago, when my eldest was five, he saw me getting my cards ready to go to the annual Christmas gaming night, and the cards absolutely mesmerized him. He especially loved the art (knights and monsters and dragons and whatnot), but the whole idea of the game captured his imagination. He couldn’t read well enough to play yet, and many of the rules were too complicated for him to grasp, but I made him the simplest deck I could, and he hasn’t stopped since.
So, when he came home from school the other day at 10-years old and announced that he was beginning a Magic: The Gathering club at his school, the nature of the club was exactly what I would have expected. What made me proud as a father, however, was that he had the confidence to turn his passion into community.
All on his own initiative he had contacted a teacher to be a supervisor of the club, arranged to have a permission form done up for students who were interested (because some of the art can be scary, and some parents might object to the idea of magic), and laid out a draft poster that he asked me to help him do up in my design program. He had a passion, he wanted to share it, so he went out and did it.
I’m always telling my kids that they can make a difference, even if just in little ways, by pursuing the things they love and doing the things they think are important, but it was great moment for me as a parent to see that actually being put into action.
Luke Hill is a stay-at-home father of three boys, aged 10, 8, and 4. He has fathered, fostered, adopted, or provided a temporary home for kids anywhere between birth and university. He has taught college courses, adoption seminars, camp groups, Sunday School classes, rugby teams, not to mention his own homeschooled kids.