Finding ourselves on the back end of a 1,000 mile move to Charleston, where the only person that we knew was our realtor, was a bit overwhelming. The thing is, people do that everyday. I’ve moved a lot in my life, but mostly within a 30-mile radius. This was different. I left my career, family, friends and pretty much everything I knew when my husband was offered a transfer from Texas.
The first thing that we did is check the map app on our phones. I’ve never been a person who relied on electronics, normally opting for an actual map or atlas, but I had no idea where anything was here. If I wanted to get to the grocery store or the aquarium, the phone was always close by to tell me turn right, go straight, and my favorite…please make the next legal u-turn.
We immersed the kids in anything and everything possible from horseback riding to soccer. They met friends and started grow and become more sure of themselves in most ways, but we also had to learn how to get along with each other and eventually concluded that we were Team Chandler. We realized that in order to make our move work, we had to become a team. We have been in Charleston for a year now, and my kids, Luke (5) and Lily (8), still like the idea of being on a team, but they don’t have a lot of things that they can play as a team together.
Lately, the kiddos have been watching Pokemon. Luke can sing the whole Pokemon song and can name so many of the characters. It sounds like gibberish to me, but he knows his stuff when it comes to Pokemon. A month or two ago, we started seeing posts about people playing Pokemon Go. My husband and I snickered at all those adults shirking their responsibilities trying to catch a Pikachu.
Then I noticed that our governor Nikki Haley posted a picture of a Pokemon in her office at the State Capital, and I thought that there just may be something to this. So after a comical discussion with my husband, we decided to both download the game and set up a profile for each kid. Then we started to catch them all. I would love to tell you that Pokemon Go is a lame game only for twenty somethings sitting in their grandma’s basement while playing video games and eating cheetos, but incredibly, this is a fairly smart game. We actually enjoy playing it together as a family.
Here are some things that I didn’t know about Pokemon Go:
- You get to make your own avatar
- You are able to catch Pokemon as soon as you start
- Most Pokemon evolve, so that you are always trying to get more goals even after you catch them
- In order to help eggs incubate (yes they have baby Pokemon) you have to walk at least 2 km
- Most PokeStops (where you get PokeBalls) are in historical sites or parks
- There are 12 types of Pokemon
- Water types of Pokemon are found closer to the water and desert types in the desert
- The higher level you are the more things you can do
- You can actually get on a team and fight opponents at gyms once you get to level 5
The kids love to play and they are so excited to go to the park and hang out with each other, and I’m happy to say that they also enjoy hanging out with us. We got a Pokemon book and learned about how they evolved and what types did what. Luke can tell you all sorts of stuff about them, but what I like most is that he’s thinking about math by learning about their point system. He’s also learning about how to read maps and directions as we search for new Pokemon, stops, and gyms. We aren’t the best at the the gym battles, but that can only come with time, I hope.
The game is also teaching the kids how to get along since I use the game as a reward for good behavior. They congratulate each other for their wins and console each other on their losses. I love that they enjoy playing together, and the worst part about Saturdays are when the phone battery wears out. Our family loves to be outdoors, spending time together and being engaged in one huge conversation.
I find it funny that after giving up my reluctance of electronics when we moved here, my kids have taken over the use of the maps in the Pokemon Go app and now direct us where to get the biggest and best Pokemon. But, hanging outside with my family with a singular goal and smiles on our faces make the Pokemon Go game a very good thing.