As the gifting season is upon us, I wanted to share a quick story. John Robert has always loved puzzles and legos (and really anything with directions and a clear outcome). We needed a way to keep his masterpieces away from his sisters and off the kitchen table. Enter his 2021 Christmas gift: a puzzle table!
As John Robert unwrapped his new puzzle table, others in his class unwrapped Nintendo switches. The conversation in January went something like this:
JR: “Mom, ALL my friends have Nintendo switches and get to play so many fun games.”
Me: “That’s cool and all, but did you tell them about your puzzle table?! You know we can play games on it too!”
This is not new. Since the beginning of time kids have wanted things and parents have said no. But if I am totally honest, while I made light of it, I felt insecure in my decision. Will he feel left out? Should we have gotten him a Nintendo? Does he feel embarrassed? Will his friends want to come over to play at our house? Are we lame parents?
However, looking back, here’s what I will say: In the last year, we have spent countless hours at this table. Afternoons taking it onto the back porch. Cozy mornings bringing it into the living room. Frantic days where we move it all around the house to keep it away from Alberta.
We have done 300 piece, 500 piece, and even conquered an 1000 piece puzzle. We have made Yoda out of 1700 teeny tiny legos.
This is not an anti-device post. Nate and I think there’s a lot of pros to things like video games and what you can learn on the internet. (Heck, my whole job is on social media!) But as I reflect on the hours spent with my son and the conversations we have huddled around that square, I am so grateful we went with the puzzle table.