Let the board games begin

I didn't come from a game-playing family. Well, I take that back. There were a lot of head games, but definitely no board games. Or card games. And only one video game (PONG!).

As a kid, I was envious of my friends who played Monopoly and Hearts and more with their families. I felt a little cheated that I never got to be part of what seemed to be such a fantastic family activity, one that bonds, teaches fairness and encourages humor and humility. I longed for that kind of stability, that kind of learning to play by the rules. That kind of family.

Sure, I received a few games as a kid. I remember having Trouble and Operation and Mousetrap. But they were given as gifts to play with friends, not family. My family didn't do that.

At least not the family I grew up in. The family I created with Jim did play games -- and still does.

When my three daughters were little, we had Chutes and Ladders and Candyland. I have to be honest in admitting I don't remember much about playing those games with the girls. Three little ones of (basically) consecutive ages creates a bit of a haze around the early years. But we had the games, and I know we played them.

As the girls got older, our game stash grew. We had Life, Aggravation and Rummikub (a fave game for New Year's Eve for many years, thanks to Gramma Darryl). As the girls became teens then young adults, we added Outburst, Trivial Pursuit, Movie Lines and others.

When Megan married Preston, he taught us card games: Hearts and Euchre (although I hate Euchre ... and readily admit that to Preston).

Our most recent game additions include Imaginiff, Fact or Crap, MadGab and -- the newest family favorite -- Bananagrams (thanks to Grilled Grandma Susan's suggestion).

We are far from being the kind of family that has scheduled family game nights, but when we get together for longish visits, it's more likely than not that a game will be played. To my delight, we have become one of those game-playing families I once envied.

Which is why I was so thrilled that for Bubby's second birthday he received his first board game. It wasn't from me, and it wasn't the traditional toddler standby of Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. It was Goodnight Moon Game. And Bubby loves it!

Goodnight Moon Game game play for two-year-olds is pretty basic. It's a matching game focusing on learning to take turns. And everyone wins (which keeps adult players from having to patronize the little ones by pretending to suck at a game). That's good enough for now. The rules can be adjusted according to age, so Bubby will learn about fairness and strategy later.

So with Goodnight Moon Game readily available during my recent adventure with Bubby, I enjoyed my very first board game with my grandson. He was the perfect game player, happily taking turns and even assisting me when I took a bit longer than necessary in finding matches because I kept snapping pictures. He took the matching tasks quite seriously and glowed with pride upon completing the matches with Gramma.

Twice during my visit, Bubby and I played three or four rounds of Goodnight Moon Game. Because Bubby concentrated so hard in his search for matches, we didn't speak much during the game, other than his exclamations of "There it is!" or "My turn!" and "Your turn!" But even without the jovial conversation that typically accompanies playing games, my first games with Bubby will go down in my memory as some of my favorite ever.

Without a doubt, in playing our first real game together, Bubby and I both came out winners.

Today's question:

What is your favorite board or card game?