Creepers Gonna Creep

I am a lousy blogger. There, I said it. My intentions are good. I have so much to write about, but then  all that stuff I have to write about — life — gets in the way.  The life of a single parent, full-time worker, part-time student never seems to slow down. It seems that when I do have a spare moment, all of my good blogging intentions go out the window and instead I end up spending time with my kids doing what we love.

We aren’t the “let’s go to the mall,” kind of folks — not enough disposable income. We aren’t into nature much either. The Arizona summers are brutal and the winters are spent celebrating the fact that we can be inside the house without the air conditioning on. One thing we do like to do is play video games together, and our favorite is Minecraft.

Minecraft Creeper

For the uninitiated, Minecraft is a game that requires the player to find resources in the environment and use those resources to build a shelter, farm or hunt for food, and craft tools, armor, and weapons with which to battle the undead creatures of the night, namely zombies, skeleton archers, and big green baddies known as creepers.  Creepers, true to their name, creep up silently behind you, make a short hissing noise and explode, destroying everything and everyone within a several meter radius. (Yes, I said meter — Minecraft was created by a Swede.)

Every Minecraft player hates creepers. They serve no useful purpose. Unlike zombies, which upon their deaths may drop some tasty rotten flesh or in rare cases an iron weapon or tool, or skeletons, which drop bows, arrows, and femur bones, a creeper drops nothing but gunpowder, which can be used to — wait for it — blow up more things.  Spend hours building a beautiful house out of wood and stone? Hissssssss — BOOM!  Start again.  Find some valuable diamonds at the bottom of a deep cavern? Hisssssss — BOOM!  Into the lava you fall, along with your hard-won gems.  You are dead, the gems (and anything else you had in your inventory) are gone.  You start again, minus your valuables and back where you started.

I play Minecraft with my kids because it’s a creative game that lets us build a world of our own design and then defend it against fantasy bad guys using swords or bows and arrows. There are no guns in Minecraft, and although players can fight one other (player-vs-player mode), this is an option I turn off.  One of my girls loves to build her world and tame wild animal; she plays on ‘peaceful’ mode and never has to battle the monsters. My other daughter and I like to suit up in armor and kick some undead butt while gathering diamonds and emeralds to fill our storage chests. She is always jumping in front of me, stealing my glory and my loot, and loving every minute of it.

Lately though, it seems like my real life is a lot like Minecraft. Whenever I manage to get all my ducks in a row,  hisssssss —BOOM!! A creeper sneaks up and makes a big old mess. There are final exams to pass, college financial aid workers to argue with, and ex-husbands to  barely tolerate.  Get the kid’s braces paid off? Time for the cat to get sick — really $ick. The car breaks down, eyeglasses get stepped on, and Christmas comes with its financial demands.  A creeper lurks around every corner, just waiting to blow up in my face — or overdraw my checking account.

When a free moment comes along and I just know I should sit down and write, I can’t help myself. I have to grab my kids and slay some zombies, mine a few diamonds, and kick some serious creeper hiney.  They’re only kids once and when they’re hanging with their friends on the playground, I’ll bet they are bragging about my creeper killing skills, not my blogging prowess. I guess I’ll write some more another day.

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