“Mom, will you play foosball with me?” Foosball. The very last thing I wanted to do. Sitting at my desk, I was trying to work on some airfare for my upcoming speaking engagements. “Mom, will you?” Andrew said again.
After asking for a foosball table for months, I finally bought him a nice one for his birthday that is now the center of attention in my sunroom. It’s not the way I envisioned my sunroom to be decorated, but I thought it would be a fun game for he and his friends to play. He and his friends. Not me.
I decide that I’d let him annihilate me one more time, so I got up to play. After he scored five points in 6.4 seconds, he started talking. By now, I was concentrating on scoring at least one goal. “Mom, we have to make a balloon car for school by Friday.” I didn’t answer. I was so close to scoring a goal. “Mom, did you hear me?” he said. I looked up and realized he was playing foosball and talking– at the same time. I decided I’d try it too, even if I wasn’t going to do it very well. I asked about the car, the purpose and what his ideas were. After a few minutes, I realized that without trying to have a conversation, we were discussing schoolwork, his friends, the book he was reading, and his new sport, free running.
In a few, short moments around a foosball table, I received more information than I had in months. I didn’t have to beg him to talk to me. I didn’t have to ask many questions. He just started talking. It was amazing and comforting to me and a wonderfully fun time.
Yes, I lost that game. I lost the next ten games too. But, what I gained in that 30 minutes of playing foosball was worth the price of the table.
Using a foosball game as a conversation starter. Who knew how amazing it could be?