Saturday, July 10, 2010

A new obsession

A few weeks ago, we checked out a library book on backgammon for Archer. A few nights ago, he suddenly appeared in the living room after bedtime with a piece of cut-out paper in his hand -- a doubling cube he had drawn and wanted me to tape together. The boy clearly wanted to play backgammon. And so today, while Noel and Cady Gray went to Despicable Me, I took Archer to Target and bought him a backgammon set.

There's no shortage of games to which Archer could happily devote a lifetime of immersing himself in strategy. And there's nothing he'd rather do. Every time we go to the library, every time we pack books into a backpack for him to take to church or on a trip, he asks automatically, "Did you get a chess book?" With the same single-mindedness, he endlessly turns the pages of books on card games, dominoes, marbles, and pinball.

Games are a structured, rule-governed environment in which Archer can interact with anyone -- his peers, adults, family members. He is drawn to them as if by an irresistible force of gravity. I'd be surprised if his love for games didn't last a lifetime. I just hope he's able to achieve both the socialization and the mastery that he craves.

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