People often mistake The Hunger Games books as a thoughtful, but light sci-fi series about a young girl’s battle against government oppression. It’s really about the game of parenting.
An exhausting race against time.
You often have few resources and little support.
Competition is brutal and the games are never really over. Never.
When my wife announced she was with Tribute for District 30-ish, I immediately stepped forward to volunteer as the other Tribute. I knew she’d need me to survive.
We would enter the arena as a couple. That would play well with potential sponsors.
Everyone likes a good love story, right? We had trained long and hard for this, but nothing can ever fully prepare one for the reality of what we would face.
The unseen Gamemaker pitted against two main tributes: one from District 5, the other from District 2. Small, but extremely agile and quick, they could not be underestimated.
Upon being shot into the arena, my wife and I immediately charged the cornucopia for a survival kit. We noticed District 5 and 2 had partnered for the time being, and soon cornered us in a remote cave where they kept us pinned for what seemed like an eternity.
We were not able to eat right.
We lost sleep from keeping watch all night.
If we displeased them they screamed the screams of a thousand devils, training us to respond to their Banshee-like demands for nourishment and entertainment.
Just when we thought we could not take anymore, a gift from a sponsor parachute floated in just beyond the perimeter. Candy and presents to distract our tormentors! Clearly a gift from our now retired mentors who have long since forgotten how rough the arena can be.
My wife and I escaped, but our reprieve was short-lived. Attacks on us resumed once the gift’s novelty faded.
The District 5 and 2 tribute’s strategy became clear: Wear us down into total submission.
The games’ home viewers surely find a demented sense of pleasure from this torture – we can sense them laughing.
We see no end in sight, but we had heard stories of tributes from our district that have outpaced these small-but-mighty tributes. Here are a few of the key strategies we have been told succeed:
- Form an alliance early – You and your partner need to be on the same page and support each other at every turn.
- Make food and water a priority – In addition to making sure you and your partner are fed to deal with your daily trials, always have extra snacks on hand. Always.
- Know your individual skills and use them – You and your partner will be good at different things. Embrace that! It really helps to divide and conquer.
- Play to the sponsors – Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Babies don’t come with instruction books and no one expects you to know how to do everything.
- Get as much rest as you can and have your partner on lookout – It’s hard to do, but take turns getting some sleep. Every little bit makes a difference, especially in the early months.
Survival is the only thing matters now. May the odds be ever in our favor … and yours.