Spoinky / by Susie Lubell

Lord, where have I been? I haven't written in a fortnight as it were. I'm such a loser blogger. It's that no time thing. And then I get to a place where the house is such a mess and I can't do anything because our stuff is all over the place. I know this sounds ridiculous but it really renders me incapacitated. I come home and I just stop being able to function in my normal octopus manner. And two arms just doesn't cut it when you're trying to feed a baby who shrieks if she's not fed exactly what she wants and at a pace that would make her a contender for that world championship hot dog eating contest. All the while making dinner for the rest of my family, entertaining my son, and doing the dishes.

So why is our crap everywhere this time? We took the kids up to Lake Tahoe for a snow weekend (this is already a week ago - that's how behind I am) with my brother's family and now we're having a bad case of the luggage creep. But it was worth it because I finally got to see my son play with other kids. Three days, four adults and four kids aged four, three, two and one. What a hoot. I mean nothing beats tiny people dressed up in puffy clothes. We took them sledding and went searching for icicles and they built forts and spent entire days in their long underwear. It was fabulous. The best part of the whole trip, besides the two mornings that my sister-in-law and I went cross-country skiing by ourselves, was that my son actually played with his cousins. They made up a game called Spoinky where one player takes the green tentacled rubber ball (the spoinky) and flings it at another player. I am not kidding you they played this game for like six hours every day. Up and down the two sets of stairs, in the bathroom, under the fort they built in the living room. Everywhere. 

My brother and I had to laugh because when we were kids our parents took us skiing for a week every year with three other families. And every year we'd play a game that called "Billy" which entailed rolling up a sock and hurling it as hard as you could at someone else. When we were a little older we called it "William." Someone invariably got smacked in the face and cried. Usually me, come to think of it. But we all have fond memories of Billy.

It's so nice to see our kids creating those same memories. So much has changed since we were kids - no one walks to school, kids don't play by themselves in the street after school, 8 year olds have cell phones - but I'm happy to see that it's still fun to throw soft objects at your friends and relatives.