squids

Editor’s Note: Following is a page from my spiritual notebook

SQUIDS

The Michigan sun slanted fall rays through my windshield the afternoon I drove to my son’s home. I arrived to pay Brian and my grandsons a goodbye visit — I’d head back to Florida the next week.

I stepped through the door of his two-story colonial armed with a 100-piece puzzle, color-coded dominos, Pick-Up Sticks, and various card games in one shopping bag and cupcakes in another. Usually my grandsons and I play games for a couple of hours then Brian orders Chinese carryout. We end our visit with the Arnie’s bakery treat.

That day, we all gathered at the oblong table of his country kitchen for games. I turned to get them. I hadn’t even sat down when the kids’ bickering began.

“I want to play ‘Crazy Apes!’ said eight-year old Sammy as he climbed onto a chair.

“That’s boring! I don’t wanna’ play. Fish is better.” countered his ten-year-old brother, Bill, still standing behind his seat.

“I want Crazy Apes,” repeated Sammy with a frown.

“Go Fish!” said Bill loudly.

Without a word, my son sat down. Standing next to the table, I pulled out both decks of cards as my grandsons sulked. Now what? I glanced at my son for guidance but he shook his head, “It’s like this all the time.”

In an effort to find common ground I suggested, “How about Memory Match?”

“I hate Memory Match!” Bill said and scowled at his brother.

I’d better think quick!

OK, boys. Let’s see how intuitive you are.”

The little boys stopped frowning and looked at me. Ah! Something different. I have their attention. This had better be good!

 I sat down. Sammy perched on his knees at my left. One foot under him, Bill sat across from me and my son sat on my right. I opened the deck of “Fish” cards and spread all forty-eight ocean creature cards over the tabletop, face down.

“Wait!” Bill cried, “That’s Match Mate!”

Like stirring up a batch of brownies, I leaned over the table and swirled the cards. “No Bill. This is different.” I sat down and explained. “Each of us will draw just one card and keep it. It will be our secret. There are three others that match on the table somewhere. The person who matches their card first is “Most Intuitive.”

Bill accepted it wasn’t Match Mate and settled back in his chair.

“Now! Each of us will take just one special card.” Like all the other card games, I say, “Sammy goes first, since he’s the youngest.”

With great care, we each selected a card. Then I continued, “Sammy you draw and try to match yours first. Don’t let anyone see what you get.”

Making a grand show of keeps our card a secret, Sammy, Bill, Brian and I each drew again to make a pair, but no one found a match. A second round followed, but still no one matched his original card. Oh-oh! This is harder than I thought it’d be!

During the third round, Bill got up on his knees as Sammy leaned forward to put back the next card he drew.

Sammy yelled, “No fair! Bill saw my special card.”

“I did not!” Bill said through clenched teeth. The arguing began anew.

I broke in. “OK, OK! Sammy, how about you just put your special card back and take another.”

My son agreed, “That’s a good idea.”

Sammy slid his card into the others and carefully chose a new one. He held it to his chest. We continued another two rounds.

Odd. My son is very intuitive. I thought sure he would have a match by now.

 About then Bill said, “This is no fun. I’ll bet there are no squids on the table.”

He has a squid? I looked at my card: another squid!

Sensing it was time to end this game I said, “Well, I have one of your squids!”

Suddenly, Brian and the boys all talked at once and showed their cards. WE HELD THE DECK’S FOUR SQUIDS!

Wow! What’s the chance of that!

What had happened? A spiritually important coincidence. It was material proof of our family’s strong connection. Beyond sibling squabbles, miles that separate us most of the year and even time that goes by — we are inextricably linked.

Synchronicity feels holy.

Frances Fritzie

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