Pieces of a Childhood: 2. Playing
We had to pretend that we had never seen it before, so when Mother handed us the enormous Christmas present, we tried to look surprised. But we had already discovered the package several weeks before. We had taken it out of mother’s wardrobe, shook it, squeezed it, and fantasized about its content.
We quickly unwrapped it and discovered that it was an ice hockey board game. My brothers and I screamed with excitement, and then hurried to get the thin metal players in place to start playing as soon as possible. One set of players for Sweden and one for USA.
The rest of the evening, Father, my brothers and I would take turns playing. Luckily, our enthusiasm didn’t catch on to Mother and our sister, which meant more time for us to play.
That evening, we didn’t care about TV. We quickly gulped down Mother’s Christmas food and hurried back to continue playing.
When we were told to put the game away and get ready for bed, we reluctantly obeyed.
After half an hour in bed, my twin brother and I were still wide awake. We felt that we were not done playing yet.
Very slowly and very quietly, we sneaked out into the hallway, past our parents’ bedroom door, and down the stairs. We carefully closed the living room door, turned the lights on and carried the set back, next to the Christmas tree.
Once back in the game, we forgot about the noise we made. As before, we were shuffling, shooting, and scoring.
Suddenly, the door opened. Two very pale and frightened faces carefully peeked into the living room.
It was Mother and Father.
They were both relieved and angry when they saw that it was their own children, and not nasty thieves, that had caused the mysterious sound.
The Supreme Referees unanimously decided that the rest of the game had to be suspended because of curfew. Next day, however, we got up early to finish it. Except for the pauses Mother insisted that we take for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it was a long, good play-day.