By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
My role in life is changing. It’s to be expected, but still surprising.
When the kids were new, it was my job to introduce them to the way of things. For their first trips to the beach, I’d pick up a handful of sand and slowly let the granules fall through their fingers.
“This is sand,” I’d say.
They’d look at the tiny, sparkling crystals, then look at me in wide-eyed wonder and delight. The thought was communicated, if not spoken: Daddy rocks!
But they’ve grown beyond the point where Daddy can get credit for the sand, the stars and the moon. I still have plenty to teach them. Olivia is 9 and Evan is 7, and neither one can clean a toilet. That’s coming. Soon.
The kids also have things to teach me. For instance, they recently shared their addictions to Angry Birds.
For the uninitiated, it’s a video game where angry birds bombard green pigs and the structures the pigs hide in. Crush all the pigs, and you go to the next level with a different set of hiding places and more pigs to kill.
If that sounds simple, you don’t know Angry Birds.
I, too, once lived in ignorance.
The kids used to scam smartphones off their grandparents and lose themselves in the game. They played quietly, for the most part, except when they fought over whose turn it was to fling birds at pigs.
Perhaps sensing the game’s absorbing nature, I avoided Angry Birds for as long as I could, then the Jolly Ol’ Elf dropped off a flurry of technology at the Morris manse.
It’s a maddening game, and we’re all addicted, thanks to those punk kids.
My son and I are at a disadvantage because we don’t have Angry Birds on our personal technology devices, so we have to depend on the ladies’ largesse. To be fair, they’ve been willing to share – up to a point. I’ve had to resort to puppy dog eyes at times, and quite frankly, that technique hasn’t worked very well for me since the kids came along.
What I’m about to tell you is a secret. Don’t tell the kids, or we won’t be able to enjoy this same level of give and take in the future. It’s not a threat. I’m just saying.
The adults got stuck on an Angry Birds level. I won’t reveal how many times we tried to get unstuck because I fear that might cause my 14-year-old, video-game-playing self to materialize out of the mist of time to ridicule my loser ways.
My wife and I went out to lunch, where we took turns trying to obliterate pigs on that pesky level. I ate while she played; she ate while I played. Except for the fact the pigs refused to die, it was a smooth operation, and something we’d never allow the kids to do. Video games? At the table? While we’re eating? I don’t think so.
But if we were to tell the kids what we did, they’d learn the level was defeated thanks to a certain somebody’s Angry Birds ingenuity. In my mind I can hear them exclaim: “Daddy rocks!”
M. Scott Morris is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.