Monday, June 6, 2011

more old school: dominoes

Our oldest son was in the Domino Club this year. I didn't even know schools had domino clubs these days. Actually, I don't really know if they had them when I was in school way back when (7 year-old: "You probably dressed like Mary and Laura Ingalls when you were in school, right mom?"). Clubs in general weren't really on my radar. I went to class, played a few sports, and spent what afternoons were left as an assistant to the assistant of a local construction company. Then I did my homework and went to bed. Exciting, true, but nothing compared with building up and knocking down a room full of small rectangles.

Last month the Domino Club spent an entire saturday setting up 12,100 dominoes, and at 8pm all comers were invited to watch them go down.

While dominoes do not require a high level of cardiovascular exertion, they do involve dexterity, stooping, and actual communication -- a monumental leap beyond video games and texting. And for that alone I would be a solid fan.

But when you add the hush of a room as one person's finger starts everything in motion, it's hard not to think of dominoes as a metaphor for my life. Maybe all of those seemingly mundane tasks I sludge through all day, especially the ones that tend to be undone within ten minutes, have some magic lurking within them. Maybe an afternoon vacuuming and doing dishes would feel saturated with excitement and satisfaction if someone showed up to videotape (and cheer and pat me on the back) as the kids rushed in and undid it all.

Maybe I just need to imagine my own portable crowd of avid fans, watching as I build it up and let it fall. Maybe I just need to join them in a little cheer for myself now and then.


  1. That's a great metaphor. I'm cracking up trying to imagine it!

  2. Allyson, I love this metaphor! Thinking of daily tasks as an amazing domino setup is the perfect antidote to despair at watching them be undone.