Every family has their traditions, and ours was no exception. Like most good CRC families, Sunday afternoon was nap time for our parents. There were some fairly strict rules set for our behavior during nap time, the number one rule being “don’t do anything that will wake up Dad.” Our family consisted of 6 rambunctious boys and one little sister who came later (as the crowning glory?) and nap time put a definite damper on our Sunday afternoon playtime. Being quiet was not one of the things we did well but the punishment we would receive for waking up a parent was a strong deterrent to loud behavior.
One of our favorite Sunday afternoon traditions shared by us kids was what we called PC Time. Today PC is an abbreviation for Politically Correct but for us back then it was much simpler. PC meant Potato Chips. My parents would buy one bag of Jay’s potato chips each week and Sunday afternoon was the time set aside to enjoy those salty delights.
One of the older brothers would make the announcement “PC Time” and we would all gather around the kitchen table. One of us would then open the bag and we would share the chips right out of the bag. It may not seem too special now, in a world that has Chicken and Waffle Potato Chips, but when you only get one bag of chips a week and you have to split it between six children, PC Time was awesome.
To make it even more exciting we did what kids do all the time. We invented a game to go with our chip-eating. We had a weekly contest with a variety of winning criteria; first whole potato chip, last whole potato chip, smallest whole potato chip, and largest whole potato chip. There were no prizes but the competition was fierce and it was not unusual for someone’s winning chip to be crunched by an opponent before the chips were gone. I remember once finding a moldy chip between the kitchen window and screen, someone’s bid for Last Whole Potato Chip from the week before that had apparently been forgotten.
In this day and age PC Time may seem like a boring game. Most of us can now buy potato chips whenever we want. And entertainment is just a button push away on any cell phone or I Pad. But it wasn’t the chips or the contests that we invented that made PC Time special. It was spending time together as kids, brothers (and a sister) of various ages meeting at the table and sharing a snack together. What we were eating wasn’t important; it was the time we spent, gathered together as sibling, building memories.