Sunday, September 19, 2010

Feelings. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Feelings...

Life with growing twins is full of blessings.

However, life is also peppered with challenges---some more daunting than others. In the past two years alone, our now-nine-year-old twins experienced a month wherein their parents both lost their jobs (Dad's out-of-home, my freelance in-home); addressed the suicide of a much-loved 17-year-old babysitter; dealt with their Mommy's return to the full-time, in-office workforce; faced their Daddy's recurrent cancer, subsequent surgeries, radiation and clinical trial treatment.

As an unabashedly Pollyanna-ish Mama, the affirmative, optimistic aspects are the ones upon which I tend to focus more maternal attention. In the past two years alone, our twins saw how in the same year Dad and Mom lost their jobs, they gained new ones, and made more money financially than in years preceding. They saw how fruitless and heartbreaking suicide can be...and the efforts so many have made to educate others on the warning signs. They've seen and accepted Mom's absence during the workdays and have relished Dad's long-desired assumption of  the stay-at-home-parent role. They've seen us plow forward with Daddy's cancer fight, and celebrate his now seven months cancer-free.

Learning to identify with all feelings---the positive and the less-than-positive (a.k.a. negative)---is imperative for their---and my---health.

When you know feelings may be bubbling up--or are intentionally being squelched--we've got a fun new way to dive into that discussion!

Truth told, as a huge fan and faculty member of the campaign, when I was contacted to give Wild Ride to the Heart a test-drive, I was a bit reticent. Surely a board game would be a highly superficial way to explore important emotions. Happily, after many repeated and revealing plays, my supposition has proven grossly wrong!

When the game arrived with a "correction" to one of the cards taped to the cellophane, a flag raised as to the "professionalism" of the product's manufacturer---however, it turned out to be a good lesson in the importance of "When you know something is 'wrong,' or could be made 'better,' it's always good judgment to try to 'fix' whatever is incorrect!"

Wild Ride to the Heart lingo is now incorporated into our family conversations---e.g. "Sarah, are you in Pouty Pond?"---which helps us find the humor in -- and to identify with -- where any of us may happen to "find" ourselves on a given day, in a given moment. Few are the games that our kids will de-shelve to play without my parental suggestion. Wild Ride to the Heart is truly one of those.

Mommy's grade for Wild Ride to the Heart: B+

"Awesome! It's fun to make the faces for the emotions"
Sarah's grade for Wild Ride to the Heart: A

Darren: "I think it's awesome. The surprise cards are the best. I like that you can spin or roll the dice."
Darren's grade for Wild Ride to the Heart: A+

*When items are submitted free-of-charge for our review consideration, as was the case in this instance, the providing company is notified prior to submission that Tw-In Reviews are always honest, and not always positive, nor is a review of any product guaranteed by virtue of product submission.