keenchick

Stories and thoughts about family and life

Slug Bug!

on November 16, 2012

A couple of years ago we noticed a few more VW Beetles around our area, particularly on the 20 minute drive into the next city over to take the boys to school.  I really can’t remember how the game got started, but we taught them to start looking for the familiar little bugs on the roadway.  It didn’t take long for us to need a revision to the rules, however.  Brennan can slug REALLY hard for a little guy!  At any rate, we revised the rules to indicate yelling out the color of the car, rather than slugging your nearest passenger.   The only other rule is that the car has to be visible to more than just you, and we keep count every day.  It’s not very often that I win–actually pretty rarely.  It’s a fun game, though, and it passes the miles on the way to school.  I even incorporated the kids’ Spanish lesson into the process a couple of months ago and that’s become quite the humorous activity:  watching them try to come up with the color in Spanish.  Some days after I’ve driven enough miles, I can’t even say it in English!

Each morning Brennan keeps count, and taunts the rest of the family with who is winning and losing (it loses its effect in writing, but you can probably imagine him saying “you’re the looooooser”).  I never thought too much about it except that it was a fun game and we would get to laugh on the way to school or on the way home again.  It hit me the other day that this has actually been a real benefit for my kids, as it’s taught them the value of winning and losing.  It has taught them that you can’t and don’t win every day, and that ultimately winning isn’t everything.  I’ve been really surprised at watching how this lesson has been absorbed, and how they’ve even learned to poke fun at themselves by losing on occasion.  When you tease Brennan that he’s going to lose, he immediately comes back with “we’ll see–we’re not at school yet!” or “oh, well, there’s always tomorrow” or “I’ve won two other days this week.”  I’ve been especially impressed with him, after seeing him storm away from many a game with his older brother who is good at Connect Four, Cards, Trouble, Monopoly, Life, and just about any other game you throw his way.

It really gave me pause this morning, about how this very simple game played along Maumelle Boulevard in the morning has brought us closer as a family and taught such a valuable lesson at the same time.  I’ve even been the recipient of an attempted “gift” of a bug or two when one boy or the other felt bad that they were spotting them everywhere and I wasn’t.  Those are the lessons that make my children the people of whom I’m so proud.  Their sweet disposition and wanting to help other people makes me love and appreciate them even more.

The running joke in our family is that you must own a VW Bug to live in Maumelle.  The place is practically crawling with them.  We counted 15 in 20 minutes this morning.  Pretty soon we’re going to have to switch to something harder to find like, say,  Mercedes!    We even find them decorated with eyelashes or some other feature.  One has magnetic ladybugs all over it.  Brennan has even learned that certain cars are in certain places at different times.  When we hit the interstate and it’s not 7:30 yet, he knows we will pass a red one.  When we get off the interstate in Maumelle, he knows there is always a yellow one coming down the Boulevard.     Here’s to all the Slug Bugs in your life.

May you find one in every color, and may your blessings this week be as rewarding as our Slug Bug games each day.

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