I’m thinking a lot about hobbies, the modern era, and how lucky we are to be alive right now.


My son loves Minecraft.  He watches videos every chance we give him.  He talks about it and makes up worlds around it.  He imagines himself with the big Minecrafters talking as peers and friends.  He plays it, and today in the office supply store (getting a mouse to further his endeavors) he eyed the “gaming” headsets, keyboards, and mouses (yes, they are different) with awe and aspiration.  They would make him better, cooler, faster, more big league.  A tournament is starting this weekend and he’s going to participate, he has agreed to 30 minutes of practice every day while the tournament is happening.

If you substitute in the hobby of your childhood – 4H, baseball, scouts, dance – that thing you LOVED when you were seven then it sounds like a different voice than the one that says –

Screens are the enemy, when I was a kid I was dirty.

He does go outside, to have epic mental Minecraft adventures.  He does get dirty AND his imagination builds worlds.

I have engaged in seven major “fandoms”in the past few years: Vlogbrothers, Glee, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Welcome to Nightvale, Hedwig, and Hamilton.  I watch episodes, fan cuts, I read all berserk manner of fanfic, I like reading other peoples ideas and sometimes share my own.  The first time I started the list of my fandoms I started with three.  It grew from there.

For a long time I didn’t identify that as a hobby (I’m not quilting afterall) but I don’t watch ANY other television or follow any other Broadway shows in the same way (except maybe Fun House, I could get behind that pretty hard I think).

I don’t click through Netflix or Amazon, I am precision in the way I spend my media time – so maybe fandom is a hobby.

I’m not sure.

Here is what I do know.

I want my son to feel seen, and what he tells me in THESE moment of the spring of 2016 is YES. He will go outside.  YES. He will go to scouts.  YES. He will go to Canopy.  YES.   He will unload the dishwasher.  YES.  He will take his shower and rinse the soap out of his hair.

But if I want to know his soul.  IF I want to be where he is.  IF I want his eyes to sparkle, his voice to quicken, and his pulse to race then I have to know the only way to get there –

Is to ask about Minecraft.