You know when you go through the cabinet of board games, blow a sheet of dust off the top, and look on the back of the box, you see a family playing the game. Fake smiles branded on their faces, their eyes filled with glee as they play. You've got Sister with an ostentatious bow in her hair, and Brother, whose hair is perfectly quaffed in the ever-stylish bowl cut. Then Dad is somewhere on the periphery, completely engaged in the game, and then Mom is usually placing her perfectly manicured hand on either Brother or Sister's shoulder. Sometimes even Grandma plays. And each one dons a different fluorescent colored jersey-type shirt. You know. It's the typical family.
And then in the corner is the little post-it note with a flyaway edge that says, "Plan a Family Game Night!"
Now doesn't that sound lovely. Amidst three sports, a handful of AP classes, and a bunch of other fluff in between, it seems we could have more than enough time for that.
You may not believe it, but we don't have family game nights. Nor do we really have family nights. A lot of times we split up into groups and go to different activities, but rarely do we do something completely together. Until tonight.
We actually did a lot of fun things we don't normally do. First we went to dinner at Alpine Bakery, which to me sounded like a Panera Bread. As my history teacher says about Abe Lincoln being a "country bumpkin", "far from it". This was nothing like what I thought. It was beyond the realms of fancy. The name and the location are deceiving. It was a sit down restaurant, and they actually created the pasta in there. It wasn't Barrilla from a box from Publix. This was the real stuff. And boy does the real stuff taste spectacular.
And since it's a bakery, there was a gourmet glass-window style display of cakes, eclairs, croissants, canolis, and every type of cake you could imagine. I could feel pounds of fat just being added to my body as I stared with ravenous eyes at the beauties in front of me. It was an experience, to say the least. Absolutely 5 stars. If we were in France, this would top le Guide Michelen.
So after that, we went home and we decided to go ice skating. I haven't been skating in at least three years. I used to play hockey too, and so the rink was a normal place for me. But it was going to be so great to get back there. And my sister plays, as you know, and she was eager to teach my younger brother how to skate.
And my parents came too. We all skated. And it felt like we were this really great, happy family just like the cheesy ones on the back of board games. But we are a real family, and we aren't wearing ridiculous bows, monochromatic, oversized jerseys, and "show smiles".
We were finally doing something all together that we all enjoyed. And my brother is getting a lot betting at skating.
We may not have had a family game night. Instead we had a family bakery/restaurant and skating night. And that's a lot better than a family game night. For sure.