For Thanksgiving, we finally broke down and bought a new Scrabble set, the old one having been chewed up and shredded by the four legged members of our family. It felt strange to gather around a sparkling new plastic Scrabble set, and even though I missed the weight and feel of the old wooden tiles, the old familiar rhythm of the game took over.
And, for the rest of the weekend, our Scrabble set sat out in the middle of the living room floor, notebook with scores by its side. One game merged with another, some fizzled out, and some exploded in glory for someone with a z or a q who was lucky and adept enough to land on a triple word score. We are a competitive family, especially when it comes to Scrabble, and we hold grudges about chances squelched by family members willing to sacrifice loyalty for points.
We Smiths love Scrabble, but not just because we share a love for words. We love it, I think, because it’s always given us a chance to talk. It was around a Scrabble board that I’ve learned from my children about their heartthrobs and their heartbreaks, about what’s going well and what is failing, about their dreams and their worries. And it was around a Scrabble board that secrets have been spilled, confessions made, and apologies extended.
This Thanksgiving, as I gave thanks for the many blessings that have come our way in the year almost past (and thanks, too, for managing to come through the not-so-blessings we’ve had to contend with as well), I included this wonderful game. Thank you, Scrabble!