Peter and I introduced the boys to Survivor. Outwit. Outplay. Outlast. The social game of getting to the top without burning all your bridges, lest one forgets that all those eliminated after The Merge will hence be on The Jury.

My kids are in. Saturday night is Survivor night at our house. (Thanks, miracle of the DVR.) They’ve learned to watch for the cues and clues, that a snake means somebody’s lying, and a spider means somebody is crafting a plan. They’re all over it, and it has led to some great conversations. (Including the topic of the word “idol.”)

This past week, Tyler predicted the wily ways of the current game changer. While this guy was busy stirring the pot, Tyler said, “I know why he’s doing that. Just to make everyone vote for him. He knows he has the hidden immunity, and he will be in charge of the tribal council.” Spot. On. Alarming accuracy.

(Sidenote: Did you know this is Season 35? I took a good twenty seasons off, only to find that Jeff Probst is still killing it, speaking for the tribes and snuffing out flames.)

So this week was the episode where the contestants get a visit from their loved ones. My boys were captivated. The show played their heartstrings just like it’s supposed to, as we watched one family member after another emerge from the woods for a reunion with their emaciated, starving, exhausted, lonely family member who’s been gone for a month. They get to see a person from home, and then that person is their partner to win the next reward challenge.

I said, “Guys, if you’re ever on Survivor, will you ask for me to be the one to come visit you on the island?”

“Totally, Mom.” “Definitely.”

Pause.

And then.

“Well, I’ll ask them to send you if I need to feel a lot of love. But I’ll ask them to send Peter if I need to win.”

Touche, little survivors. That’s actually a very solid strategy.

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