The Game of Life

January 10, 2012

“You wanna play ‘Life’?” Emma asked. 

I looked up and saw her standing there with the box wrapped tightly in her arms and a sweet smile on her face.  She knows I can’t resist her big brown eyes and precious smile – yeah, Mom is a push-over.   

I agreed and we started setting up the game.  Ethan came into the room and wanted to play too so we gave him a little car with a blue peg in the driver seat.  He drove the car all over the table while making a “Vroom … Vroom” car noise along with a few screeches and peel-outs thrown in.

He looked up at me and said with excitement, “I can hardly wait until I have a car and I can drive! I am going to drive so FAST! Won’t that be so fun Mom?”

 I was shaking my head and nervously picturing Ethan as a teenager, “Oh, yeah – that will be FUN… maybe Daddy will teach you how to drive.” I don’t think Mommy’s nerves would be able to handle that much “fun”!

So once we had all the pieces set up and the money distributed we began to play the game. I had thought this might be a good learning experience for the kids about money, career and “real” life but as the game went along I began to doubt that logic. 

Emma and Ethan both decided to take the “Start a Career” path while I took the “Start College” path. 

“Why are you going that way Mom?” asked Ethan “Not me! I want to take the short cut and start making MONEY!” 

Emma chimed in and said, “Me too! And get married and have lots of babies!”

Emma’s career of choice was a hairdresser and she picked a mobile home for her starter home. She wanted to be a veterinarian, but I explained that she would have had to go to college for that career.

“Well, that’s silly” she said, “I don’t see why I would need to go to college for that. I LOVE animals and I know lots of stuff about them.”

She eventually decided to settle on being a hairdresser and I told her that maybe she could have a few cats in her mobile home with her.

“Yeah, I think I’ll just do that.  I’m gonna have LOTS and LOTS of CATS!! Maybe I don’t need a husband or kids. Maybe I’ll just have cats!”

Ethan chose to be a athlete and live in a $100,000 condo.  I could tell from his excitement and the sparkle in his eyes that he thought he was going to be the next Peyton Manning.

 

“This is going to be so AWESOME !!! I am going to have a cool red sports car and a hot tub and a big screen TV and lots of hot babes to hang out with!”  He looked over at me and added, “But you can come visit too!”

Once I finally got through the college path and graduated I became a doctor and choose a nice $140,000 ranch style starter home. In the beginning of the game I had to borrow $100,000 for college loans so at this point in the game Emma and Ethan were both much “richer” than their dear old Mom and they found this quite entertaining.

“Wow Mom! Look how much more money I have than you!” Ethan pointed out

Later in the game Emma and Ethan came to the point in the game where they could choose to go back to school and get a college degree and a higher paying career. Surprisingly, they both choose to do this and so Emma’s new career was a veterinarian and Ethan choose to be a lawyer. 

“Better watch out Emma!  I’m a lawyer like Grandpa Brock now so I can sue you if you aren’t nice to me or if you break the law!”

“I won’t bother you Ethan. I will be busy saving animals and taking care of my cats.” Emma said seemly slightly annoyed by her brother.

Since they now had better jobs, Emma decided she wanted a new house. She looked through the cards carefully weighing her options.

“I want this one!” she said excitedly waving the card with the $800,000 mansion on it.

“Are you sure?” I asked “That costs a lot of money Emma. It’s more than you have so you will have to take out a pretty big loan to buy it.

“That’s OK! It will be nice and big and have lots of room for me and my cats.  Oh, and probably room for my husband and our twins too”

Emma had to use ALL her money plus she borrowed $300,000 from the bank but she got her dream home … an $800,000 Mansion!  

As I was counting out the large pile of promissory notes Ethan looked over at Emma, rolled his eyes and said “Emma! You’re a train wreck!”

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