Friday, February 27, 2009


"Let's play Opposites!"

Since my oldest is more than thirty, I've been playing Opposites (and Rhyming and Colors and Hide 'n Seek and Situations--our homegrown version of "What would you do if...?") for a minimum of three decades.

I'm pretty good at Opposites by now.

Hot? Cold. Wet? Dry. Up? Down. In? Out. Frogs? Um...toads? No, wait. Something furry and doesn't hop--polar bears?

When one of the grandkids suggests we play Opposites, I'm ready with my vocabulary arsenal.

But have we humans learned how to use the opposites principle to best advantage when life gets hard?

The ink on my to-do list is running off the edge of the paper. What's the opposite of that time-cramping scenario? Nothing on my to-do list. Would I like that better? Nothing meaningful to occupy my time? No thank you!

My husband hovers while I'm in the kitchen trying to get supper. It's a small kitchen. He's a tall man. He throws shadows on my work space! What's the opposite? Would I like it if he didn't want to be with me? If he didn't care to know what I was doing? If he didn't want to come home at the end of the workday?

I can't have nice things. Well I COULD have a new coffee table, but it's probably best if I wait until the last grandchild is done teething and learning to walk...until the last grandchild has grown out of the desire to play with PlayDoh, until they stop using my garage sale coffee table for their picnics. The opposite of a scarred, beat-up, sticky, all-function-no-style coffee table is an enormous tufted leather ottoman and the babies all grown up.

I'll wait for the leather.

Doctor visits bumping into each other? The opposite is no good health care nearby. The opposite of aches and pains is lack of feeling, or paralysis, or death.

Dirt on the floor? I have a floor. Mud on my shoes? I have shoes. Closet too crowded? Oh, brother! What a thing to complain about!

Tough time deciding what to make for supper? What's the opposite? Bare cupboards make the decision easy.

The next time I'm unhappy with how things are going, I hope I remember (and hear) the voice of God saying, "Let's play Opposites!"


Sara Cox Landolt said...

Great perspective and post, thanks!
We're driving from Wisconsin to Idaho this summer with our 3 young kids. I'll prep myself for many great games of opposites!
:-) Sara

ThatFunnyAmy said...

But you know I loved "Sticky Situations." I truly believe that it grew an ability to cope situations in real life.

Hannah and I are already playing "pretend there was a bee flying right next to you...what would you do?"

May need you to moderate the next session, though.

Dixieland57 said...

You're post is pure soul food. Thanks for helping us keep an eternal perspective. I see the "SON" in your eyes.