Things I’m Thankful for, Part II

By Laura Edwards
Tonight, I’m thankful for video games. Yes – you read that correctly. An homage to Nintendo doesn’t feel very poetic or grand, but in my world, video games mean that I’ve accomplished necessary tasks to the extent that I don’t feel (very) guilty about flipping my own switch to the ‘off’ position and doing something mindless for awhile. In my world, mindless is healthy, because often, my brain and my heart are so twisted over certain cards we were dealt that stress becomes physically exhausting – even damaging. I try really, really hard to hide the signs, but people close to me know how to spot them.
Sometimes in college, after I’d had a rough day, I’d flop on the vinyl couch in the apartment I shared with three other girls and play Donkey Kong 64 until my roommates had come home from class and gone out and come back home again. Last winter, when I stayed home from work sick with a sinus infection, I played Super Mario Galaxy for nine hours and seven minutes. I know this because the game documents such stretches of lost time. And tonight, to celebrate the beginning of a long holiday weekend, I’m rescuing John from our garage (where he has been painting siding since he got home from the office) so I can beat him at Wii Sports Resort before he annihilates me at Golden Eye.

Taylor plays video games sometimes. She’s pretty good at bowling on Wii Sports if you get her lined up just right and help her with her wrist motion the first couple of frames. And she does a mean hula hoop on Wii Fit. Unlike her big sister, though, T prefers to unwind with her music. Put her in a room with a stack of CDs and her CD player or her iPod, and she’ll entertain herself for hours on end. She used to sing all of the words to the songs. These days, she doesn’t sing the words very often. Instead, she picks out certain notes and hangs on them forever, like a miniature opera singer. She’s (almost) always in key. Sometimes we have to remind T not to do this – at least not so loudly – when we’re in a public place. But part of me hates to take it away from her.  Pictures mean nothing to her now. Music is everything.

Here’s to all of the mindless activities ever invented for the escapement and enjoyment of the mind and the soul. And here’s to the next few hours in front of my TV. Wish me luck! 🙂

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