Chat Pack


HT had bedtime duty last night; I was up in my attic office writing. When I finally came down, I peeked in on each kiddo and found Riley still awake in her bed. I came in and gave her a kiss and she said, “I was hoping you’d come down. I thought we could play Chat Pack.” She took the little Chat Pack box out from under her covers and presented it to me.

Chat Pack is a game I picked up a few months ago at a nearby independent book store. We don’t sit down to a big family dinner every night at our house, but we do manage it at least a couple of times a week and we all look forward to playing Chat Pack after we’ve finished eating.

It isn’t so much a game, (there are no winners or losers) as a conversation starter.

In your opinion, what would be the most enjoyable thing about being a dog or a cat?

What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever found?

Those kinds of questions. It is fun hearing what the kids have to say, and it’s been surprising to find Riley so…well…chatty.

I’d been gone most of the day, and then up in my office writing for the evening, filling my cup after a long week of being cooped up inside with the kids. It never occurred to me Riley would miss me or want to connect with me. She’s never taken the initiative like that. My heart just melted, looking at her with the Chat Pack cards, her room lit up with twinkling stars from the projector she bought with her birthday money last year. To think of her waiting for me, hoping I’d come down.

It was late, so I told her we could do one question and then we’d all do Chat Pack at breakfast in the morning. She was happy with that compromise.

It made me realize how much kids on the spectrum really do love us, even if they can’t or don’t tell us in so many words.

This morning, at the kitchen table it was hot chocolate, Chat Pack, goofy kids, a beautiful man, and a mom with a very full and grateful heart.

I love me someĀ Chat Pack. I do.

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7 Responses to Chat Pack

  1. Chris Vartorella says:

    Love it… and feel honored I got to hear about this on the way home from rehearsal…. I learn something new about Riley every time you write about her….

  2. Carrie Link says:

    Easier to have a grateful and full heart after a break. Don’t mind me, just a little note to myself.

  3. Wanda says:

    “Chat Pack” is a perfect moniker for your family…or so it seems.

  4. Amanda says:

    Yes, one important thing I have learned from Lydia – Just because they (my kids with Autism) don’t show it the same way doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling it on the inside. That goes for everything.

    Thrilled for you and your girl :D

  5. kario says:

    Those daughters! I love it when they’re waiting for us.

    And I love that you had time to write while HT put them to bed. What a guy!

  6. Courtney says:

    I must buy this game.

  7. Michelle O'Neil says:

    This just in: Your Chat Pack purchase helps employ adults with special needs. Each Chat Pack has been carefully packaged by special-needs adults who work for Ability Building Services in Yankton, South Dakota.

    Very cool.