There is a card game called “Bullshit”. The object of the game is to simply get rid of all your cards first. The deck is dealt evenly among each player. During each turn, cards are put down clockwise in ascending order beginning with the player who has the Ace of Spades. When it’s your turn to play, you put your cards face down and announce how many of that card you are putting down. If you don’t have any of the card you are supposed to play or you want to get rid of more cards, you can try to bullshit and put down cards you are not supposed to. If you get away with it, great! If one of the players thinks you are lying, and you are, then they call bullshit and you have to pick up all the cards in the pile and put them in your hand. If you are not lying when someone calls bullshit on you, then they have to put the pile of cards in their hands. The winner is the person who plays all of their cards first.
Last night, my husband and I played a few hands of Bullshit with our teenage son and daughter while we were waiting for supper to finish baking in the oven. Playing Bullshit with people you live with isn’t as easy as it sounds. My husband and I have been together 29 years. I know he knows when I’m bullshitting and I know when he is too, or so we both think. There were parts of the game I found myself having to put my cards over my mouth when I was trying to pull off a Bullshit maneuver because I couldn’t control myself. Some I got away with it, some I didn’t. It was interesting watching each of my children trying to pull off a bullshit. They pulled off some slick maneuvers themselves and I enjoyed watching them nail each other for a bullshit as they are close siblings. The games were heated and intense as we all bullshitted and hoped not to get busted. In one move my husband accused my daughter of a bullshit and she wasn’t bullshitting so he had to pick a large pile of cards. “Oh yeah, there’s lot of bullshit going on here” was all he could say. All we could do was laugh and laugh and laugh and keep playing and keep bullshitting until someone lays down their final card and declares themselves as the master bullshitter of this hand. It was beautiful and I am still laughing to myself about it.
There are moments of life, like snippets of film that we wish we could pause because we never want them to end. This silly game of Bullshit was definitely one of them. When your kids are babies you enjoy each new stage of their development and each milestone they master. It’s so far away you can’t possibly imagine what it feels like when your first born is nine days away from high school graduation and three months away from moving into his college dorm or that your second child, your little girl is just three months away from beginning high school. It’s real now. The milestones and achievements hit you faster and faster now like a freight train and their transition into young adult hood is blatantly obvious. Change is coming to a theater near you. When you look back, you realize there are rolls and rolls of paused film all over your life.
Our son thinks his life is the only one with uncertainty in it because he’s the one going off to college. In reality it’s all of us. How’s it going to feel for my daughter to come home to an empty house after school each day and have no one to routinely agitate on a daily basis? How is it going to feel when I walk by my son’s bedroom at 0530 each morning and he won’t be there for me to kiss his forehead before I leave for work? How will it be for my husband when he won’t have his daily dose of male bonding moments with the boy? How often will the boy come home? Will he be able to come home to watch the girl’s high school activities? Will his future summer jobs interfere with our family vacations? The boy doesn’t like us reminding him that he’ll be leaving soon so we just pause the film and enjoy each moment we have left of a household of four.