Pokemon Helped

July 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Back in 2009, when my boys were 10 and 6 years old, they became interested in Pokemon.

Pokemon, for the uninitiated, is a card game, electronic device game, TV series and book series. The cards are like old fashioned trading cards, and are collectible items. The game involves two players, battling it out with their ‘Pokemon’, to defeat their opponents through luck and strategy.

My boys, especially William, were heavily into Pokemon for a couple of years – collecting, going to public tournaments to play against other children, and of course I was roped into playing with them, for practice, at home.

In the last week, with the release of a new range of cards, the boys have a suddenly renewed fervor for Pokemon. They have acquired a new range of cards each, and so have I, so we can play together at home. I have always been a card game lover, so I have not needed much persuading to become involved again.

A wave of memories has been washing over me the last few days, as I remember our first forays into Pokemon five years ago. I have written before about my struggles in 2009 – the stress of that pregnancy and disconnect from life in general that extended into Zara’s first year of life. But what I remember about Pokemon is a bright light among a time of darkness – at the time we were living with my mother in a very small house, with not much outside space – and nearly every day after school the boys and I would play Pokemon. Lily would nap or play quietly, and we would listen to the Black Eyed Peas or Coldplay, and play Pokemon.

This rhythm began when I was pregnant, and continued with a sleeping babe in my arms. It was an escape for me from my thinking mind, and a way to connect with my boys. I think back to those afternoons now as magical hours – before Sol or my Mum arrived home from work – as something positive and productive I was able to achieve at a time when the basics felt almost too hard.

And of course I just enjoyed the game immensely. Samuel is five years older now and able to challenge me more as his understanding has matured. And it warms my heart to see William and Samuel sitting together playing….something more rare these days as William enters the middle adolescent years.

Sometimes it is the unexpected things that bring us together, and bring joy. Pokemon helped, back then.

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