Invasion of the Junior Nerds

Funny looking dice

So, I may have mentioned in the past that my lovely partner Muppet is a big, giant Nerd. We use the word with love but it is what it is. When I met him, I knew he was an artist and extremely talented, with some pretty stong computer geek tendencies. Then, I found out about the Dungeons and Dragons thing. Sigh. Luckily, I was already hooked or that may have been a deal breaker right there.

Yes, he was one of those guys who spent his weekends in his friends’ living rooms or basements, rolling funny looking dice and plotting elaborate escapades that involved ogres and wizards. In fact, he had started up the first ever D&D club at his high school. I bet that really impressed the chicks.

But, here’s the thing. Those guys that he met in high school are still his best friends now, over 20 years later. They are loyal to each other, they love each other to bits, and they still get together to play whenever they can. Every one of them is married and several have kids. They are fantastic husbands and fathers. The creativity they put towards gaming when they were teenagers has translated into successful jobs as engineers, Gemini award-winning script writing (that’s the Canadian Emmys), high level marketing executives (for a gaming company, no less), and video game designers (that’s my Muppet).

And now Muppet has started a Junior Nerd campaign. Mini Me and a gaggle of his 10-year-old friends get together in my dining room about once a month and Muppet gets out his funny dice and elaborate spreadsheets and helps them to imagine being ogres and wizards and rogues. They love it, and to my surprise, the group has been growing. These kids who have been growing up on Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter don’t thing it’s nerdy or geeky or uncool to spend an afternoon eating junk food and rolling dice. Anybody at school who finds about it wants to join in.

Mysterious spreadsheets of nerdiness

I have to go and start preparing the snacks in a couple of minutes and when they all get here, I will leave them to it. It’s not something that interests me, but I admit to sitting quietly in my adjoining living room and just watching them sometimes. I love to see the camaraderie and hear the laughter. I imagine them doing this in 5 or 6 years time when it will be at night with candles and creepy music to set the mood and pizza and wings will replace my carefully thought out healthy snacks. I hope that this creates a bond in these boys the way it did with Muppet and his friends.  It’s a rare thing to see a bunch of men who love each other and accept each other the way Muppet and his friends do. My boys have grown up around that and I wish the same for them.

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