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May 09, 2007

Settling In

Boxes on top of boxes.
Kitchen stuff in the basement.
Basement stuff..... I don't know. Probably out in the backyard somewhere.
Barely room to walk, much less sit down.

For me, however, the enduring image of moving day is my children's backs. As I came downstairs, I turned to see my kids kneeling on the big leather chair, shoulder-to-shoulder, facing backwards, playing New Super Mario Bros. together. I would have taken a picture, but I didn't want to turn away to get my camera.

In general, the move went pretty well, though there were a few anxious moments here and there, mostly from the kids, who were understandably unsure about such a drastic change in their lives.

In such situations, where things change and kids are unsure about the solidity of the ground beneath their feet, continuity is a precious commodity. And while my wife and I took great pains to make sure our kids had as many comforting things to fall back on, video games played a prominent role in making our kids feel comfortable the first few days in their new home.

In particular, I tried to play as many familiar games as possible. Sure, I unveiled a new I Spy Game - I Spy School Daze (which we would have played together if my computer decided that I had enough @$#%*&! virtual memory). But for the most part, we played the same games that we had been playing the previous week, and I think that definitely made a difference.

Amidst all the chaos, my kids could count the fact that they could still play their favorite games with their dad. And that's why, although there are still many boxes to be unpacked and drawers to be filled, some of the first things we made sure to locate and set up were this computer & internet connection, the TV with the GameCube (we still have to track down one of the cords from the PS2), and the DS.

Of course, we did many other things as well. We played outside, read books, played with squirt guns, drew on the patio with sidewalk chalk, and lots of other non-gaming-related activities. But without question, my kids' ability to play some of their favorite video games the very first day in the new house helped make this move a very smooth one.


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