Heirlooms

It’s a simple board with a scuffed and cracked top.
The cards feel brittle and are yellowed with age.
The pawns are faded (and 1/4 are missing) but the wood is solid.

It sits on the shelf, unused most days, but on rare occasions gets pulled out for careful game time.

The board games have been out often during this pandemic. They are played and played again. There’s endless replay value in their electricity-free dice.

Most of the games are shiny and newish looking with their plastic pieces and laminated cards. They get rolled and shuffled and sometimes lost and bent.

For almost every bit and piece and person in the home this quarantine and safer-at-home is a new experience. It’s tiring and feels unending, but we still have never had to do this before.

Except for Sorry.

Known as “Polio Sorry” by the relative who passed it on, it has already been through an epidemic. It has already weathered a quarantine time without playing with friends, without swimming, and with lots of stay-at-home board games with siblings.

We usually play with our new version that’s more durable for little hands (though why it has only three pawns per player instead of four I do not understand). But the old one, scuffed and brittle and faded, is a reminder that this is a passing season of life.

Nothing truly makes the day to day business of washing masks and missing canceled activities easier. But previous generations of children have lived through quarantines and safer-at-homes.
It takes “we’re in this together” to another level.

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