I am one of the biggest comic book and cartoon Blerds ever, but Pokemon never did it for me. One one hand the characters were super annoying and I may have just crossed the stage into adulthood where I wouldn’t allow myself to like it. Fast forward to 2015 when my now 10 year old son becomes so obsessed, that when we enter any store he makes a bee-line for the cards and sits there looking through the packs. As a mom I tried to get into it again, but alas I couldn’t. No guilt though, he has to have his own things but I know he wanted me to love it too.
THEN CAME Pokemon Go! I learned about people playing it from Twitter but resisted the urge to download it because I really am not a fan. That same night CJ started talking about it (Thanks YouTube) and I gave in. He walked around the house and I heard him scream GOTCHA! And I thought oh boy this is going to be no fun, I’ll never see my phone again. For the next two days as soon as I got home he was off searching, leveling up and I was all “Nah, B I’m good.” I had a lot of adult things on my mind and I just couldn’t get distracted, until boredom aka the desire not to adult kicked in and I gave it a try. I spent the entire ride looking for these virtual creatures to help CJ get better at the game. When I called him to tell him, he was so excited. I was so excited, we were excited! Once I got home we were off and running, we didn’t catch anything but the time spent with both CJ and Corey was enough. I decided the next morning since I was off and we’d be in Brooklyn that we would get up early and take a walk. But what ended up happening was so much more.
* We walked about 4 miles: While there seems to be this angry sect of people that only see it as another game, which can’t be good, I’ve seen it as a push to MOVE. Kids and their parents are on bikes, walking, running and getting outside. And with America high obesity rates and health related issues anything that can get people on their feet makes me happy and I’m here for it.
*We connected with our community: After surveying the map, we made our way to Lincoln Terrace Park which seemed to be full of “rare” Pokemon. The boys ran up and down the walk way, and when they spotted the playground they almost passed out. LOL! While they played in sprinklers, slid down the sliding boards and drew on the concrete with chalk (Thank you NY Parks Dept), I sat and had a discussion with a man that happened to be a Hasidic Jew. We spoke about the arts in school, gentrified Brooklyn (he was not here for it), the misuse of funds (there is an initiative to rip up the very playground we sat in to redesign it, 3 million dollars has been bookmarked to “update” an already nice park). Oh and he taught me how to read the Hebrew alphabet. Do you understand the WINS here?
I also made a connection with a new business in the neighborhood. Growing up in Brownsville there weren’t a lot of healthy food options but that is changing and it starts with the owner of Blendzville. We spoke for a while about what the community needs, how he plans to bring it and possibly working together in September.
*The boys got a tour of their parent’s lives: From the basketball courts their dad dominated on, the tennis courts where their mom shed her shyness and realized her strengths and the schools, sounds and smells that birthed us. While we have always talked to CJ about growing up in Brooklyn, I don’t think we’ve ever showed him what that means. Sure he’s attended festivals, parades, gone to block parties but this was different. They were literally playing in the same park we did at that age, taking their steps in our footprints and all they could do was smile and ask questions. Mommy, did you do this was the common question, and 9 out of 10 times I had. It was a great bonding moment! It was also enough to make a young thug cry. hehe
I got to go home and felt so warm: Living in the suburbs is nice, but I miss my home. Brooklyn is forever my home no matter what they try to do to it. I was so happy just walking around, seeing faces I haven’t in a while and just being home. I don’t know if it was the combination of family good news, the smell of jerk, the delicious zucchini bread made by my friend (wink, wink) and the beautiful black people all around but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come back to my actual home for a few hours. LOL!
So in the end, Pokemom Go got us out and about, working out, running and building a stronger bond as a family and there is nothing better than that! See you all later, we have a tennis lesson and a few Pokemon to catch.